Nov 18, 2019
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Sustainability, Bottega Veneta and Meghan Markle are 2019's fashion stars says Lyst

Nov 18, 2019

This has been Bottega Veneta’s year, while Alexander McQueen’s sneakers have enjoyed surging popularity, the former Meghan Markle has been the top influencer and sustainability has been the hottest topic. 

Bottega Veneta - Fall-Winter2019 - Womenswear - Milan - © PixelFormula

That’s all according to the annual Lyst Index, which analyses search and sales trends, and which also said 2020 should be all about fashion resale, rental, Olympics-linked Japan mania and the return of the oversized bag.

Lyst saw 104m shoppers starting their fashion searches on its site this year and it was clear that consumers were sustainability-focused. Searches including sustainability-related keywords increased 75% year on year, with an average of 27,000 searches for sustainable fashion every month. Sustainable denim and sneakers were the most wanted product categories. 

And alongside this, shoppers were also seeking diversity with searches for adaptive and modest fashion up 80% and 90% respectively, plus a 52% increase in searches for the terms ‘genderless’ and ‘gender-neutral’ with fashion.

But consumers also sought romance and indulgence from their fashion products, with “significantly” higher searches for beaded bags, pearl hair accessories, tulle skirts and babydoll dresses in the spring. 

Yet streetwear remained the biggest trend and it moved even further upmarket. This year, customers spent on average $192 on a new pair of sneakers, a 39% rise. The average spend on a T-shirt also increased 16% to $67. Off-White was the most searched for brand of the year.

Other key trends have included demure prairie dresses (especially from LoveShackFancy); ‘survivalist’ cargo pants, vests and belt bags; 90s-revival crop tops and slip dresses; and sporty ‘shapewear’ with cycle shorts, bodysuits and leotards all trending.


As mentioned, Bottega Veneta has had a great year and Daniel Lee’s designs have driven a 53% increase in its accessories searches. The label’s Pouch bag has sparked more than 10,000 views a month since its launch. And its barely-there sandals saw July searches increasing 471%.

Other top products this year have included Gucci’s GG Logo Belt (two were sold through Lyst every minute), the Jacquemus Le Chiquito bag and Prada’s Logo Bucket Hat that sold out multiple times online. 

Meanwhile the Alexander McQueen oversized sneakers topped the list of Hottest Women’s Products in Q1. Searched every two minutes on Lyst, they were the brand’s best selling product this year. And Fendi’s Zucca print was the most wanted logo on Lyst this year.

Fendi has also benefited from plenty of ‘revival’ interest in its Baguette Bag with searches up 138% year-on-year and the menswear versions also selling out across multiple retailers shortly after their release. 

Other popular revivals included Teva sandals, helped by an Anna Sui collab; clogs, boosted by Maria Grazia Chiuri at Dior; Jelly Shoes that were a spring hit; and Dr Martens boots, with lookalike products also seeing higher search interest.

And there were two big ‘viral’ product stars too. Zara’s polkadot dress was the most talked-about item of the year that also generated a 120% increase in general searches for polkadot dresses from July. And Lady Hale, the 74-year-old president of the UK’s Supreme Court, made spider brooches a breakout search term in Britain. Searches for this accessory increased by 166% on Lyst within a week.

Apart from Bottega Veneta being a major “breakout brand” this year, Pyer Moss, Jacquemus, Paco Rabanne, Molly Goddard, Richard Quinn, Saks Potts and Telfar are other labels that have all seen searches climbing skywards. They’ve been helped by their products being worn by influencers and celebrities, as well as their runway shows.


Talking of influencers, the Duchess of Sussex (formerly Meghan Markle) “was the most powerful dresser of 2019 and her outfits sparked a 216% increase in searches for similar pieces”. The shirt dresses seen on the royal tour of South Africa drove searches for the category up 45%. Her Club Monaco dress sold out in less than 24 hours, following a 570% spike in searches and her J Crew skirt saw a 102% increase in searches for the brand.

The Duchess of Sussex was a big fashion influence during her tour of South Africa

In second place, Timothée Chalamet’s embellished Louis Vuitton bib was this year’s breakout look at the Golden Globes. The sequin hoodie he wore to the UK premiere of The King sparked a 192% rise in searches for men’s hoodies.

Zendaya also lit up social media, especially after her Met Gala and Emmy Award appearances, while Billie Eilish almost single-handedly helped drive searches for neon green pieces up nearly 70%. Cardi B also helped drive interest in labels from vintage Mugler to Chanel, Thom Browne and Richard Quinn, while K-Pop sensation Lisa Blackpink boosted searches for Celine’s Triomphe bag.

Other top influencers included Kylie Jenner (down from 2018’s first place), Lizzo, Harry Styles and Billy Porter.


So that was 2019, but what about 2020? Well, resale has been huge this year with a quarter of shoppers now buying it and that trend is only likely to accelerate. Meanwhile the rental market, valued at $1bn, should neatly double that figure by the end of 2023, so this time next year should see it significantly higher than today’s number.

Lyst is also predicting a ‘big bag’ revival. This year it reported that the average surface area of a handbag had shrunk by 40%, driven by the trend for mini bags. But “a return to the XL shoppers of the ‘00s, in particular new soft leather styles by the likes of Little Liffner and The Row” is on the cards. 

And the Olympics in Tokyo will shine a spotlight on Japan, meaning bold Harajuku street style and cult Japanese contemporary labels like Sacai, Undercover, Visvim and Neighborhood should be hot. Searches for Japanese brands have already increased 8% this year.

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