The end of summer and the start of the last quarter of the year also means it’s time for Lyst’s quarterly analytical trend report. Since 2018 the London-based fashion technology company has released quarterly reports analysing and ranking different fashion brands and products. The Index is formulated by taking into account Lyst shoppers’ behaviour on and off the app (i.e. product searches, views and sales), social media mentions, activity and engagement across a three month period. This is a key way to measure a brand’s cultural impact.
The Lyst Index also compares brand’s position in the top 20 “hottest brands” list to their position the previous quarter, showing how some brands have fallen off the radar in this ever quickening age of fashion. This also demonstrates the true power of social media virality for those brands that within three months have emerged out of relative obscurity to beat out major fashion houses.
For Q3 2023, the hottest brand was Miu Miu, while this is not their Lyst Index debut, this is their first time being crowned as number 1, taking over from Loewe in 2023 Q2 and Prada in 2023 Q1 and 2022 Q4. This is due to their nostalgic ballet flats and Arcadie leather bag being hero products, garnering huge global demand. Their consistent and effective social media strategies led to over 223 million views on TikTok, tapping into the next generation of shoppers. Plus, this is a generation that thanks to social media careers, are making money at a younger age and therefore potentially more able to make these purchases.
Miu Miu are also very smart when choosing brand ambassadors. Their campaign featuring The Crown actor Emma Corrin, singer-songwriter Ethel Cain and model Zaya Wade, signalling their support of the queer community, was an online hit, especially as Gen Z’s are notably passionate about support and liberation of queer communities. In today’s times of oversaturation and overconsumption, Gen Zs and millennials expect brands to have values similar to their own, to make them stand out from all the other brand options they have.
2023 also marked Miu Miu’s 30th anniversary, the entirety of which Miuccia Prada has been at the helm. Smart design decisions such as simple silhouettes with the Miu Miu logo have been highly effective. Their logo cashmere cardigan was Q3’s second hottest product and led to a 44% increase in searches for cardigans. Clearly they have found a formula that works, from their 2022 viral pleated micro mini skirt (and its many dupes) to their coveted bags from the SS24 show. Plus, examining events that have taken place since the September Lyst Index reporting cutoff, it is likely that Miu Miu will keep the top spot in Q4 too.
A notable entry is Ferragamo at number 20. Maximilian Davis took over the brand in September 2022, showing his first collection at Milan fashion week SS23. The collection was met with critical and cultural acclaim. This is their debut on the list which is significant, considering that the founder Salvatore Ferragamo is credited as being the inventor of platform shoes. By bringing his unique love of tailoring and some fresh energy, along with his nomination for British Fashion Council’s British Womenswear Designer of the Year, Davis is clearly the driving force behind the buzz. Paired with cosigns from key fashion forward celebrities such as Gigi Hadid and Solange Knowles and his SS23 and AW23 colour pallet influencing red to be the colour of the season, I’m almost certain that we’ll see Ferragamo on the Lyst list next quarter.
In this age of overcuration and social media content creation as a viable and lucrative career, organic social media moments seem to be a thing of the past. However, this quarter we had “The Tabi Swiper” story not only resonating and captivating many but leading to a 342% increase in Tabi searches in September alone. Leading to Maison Margiela’s Tabi Mary Jane’s being crowned the hottest product of Q3. This cult shoe is not new to the fashion world and has been a core product for Margiela since its introduction in 1983. Inspired by Margiela’s 1980s trip to Japan, the split toe silhouette with roots in the 15th century has been a recognisable but contentious fashion choice. Now thanks to @Nextlevellexuss‘ viral story of a Tinder date that stole her Mary Jane Tabis (and then subsequently gifted them to his girlfriend before getting found out and having to return them to her), Tabis are firmly in the mainstream.
New Balance 550 trainers made number 8 on the list thanks to online influence. Considering that the design was released in 1989, the microwave age of fashion adage that new is best can’t be the reason for the spike. Instead, following an unexpected appearance by Taylor Swift at a Kansas City Chiefs American football game, searches spiked by 44%. This led to the trainers being sold out online and appearing on resale sites for up to three times more than their original price.
Essentially and unsurprisingly, Gen Z are the judge and jury of what is cool and noteworthy and this is reflected in the list. From Swift’s influence thanks in no part to her Swifties, and Miu Miu astute social media strategy there are clear winners. While many may dismiss the power of social media, the numbers don’t lie. Shares, follows and mentions, do in fact lead to sales.