…by at least one metric.
Lyst’s new rankings provide yet another opportunity to reflect on Abloh’s recent unfathomable run. A year ago, according to Lyst, Off-White was the 34th-ranked brand on this list. It feels like Abloh’s been pontificating on post-modern art and putting anything in quotes for…ever, but he really caught fire around this time in 2017. Consider that “The Ten,” Nike’s collaboration with Abloh, was only announced in August of 2017. Eight months ago, Virgil Abloh was still just the designer of Off-White who moonlighted as a DJ; now he’s the men’s designer for Louis Vuitton (who also moonlights as a DJ).
Off-White carved a relatively novel way through the fashion industry on its way to the top of the hill: Almost every single reason for Off-White’s climb is due to some partnership, and one of the two that aren’t is a collection of swimwear that was exclusive to the Greek island of Mykonos. Abloh’s engineered his line so that almost every single drop feels like a special happening of sorts: the “hottest” product for men over the past quarter was the Off-White x Nike presto sneakers. (Meanwhile, the items that hit traditional retailers are prone to just sit there. Go ahead and buy a pair of Off-White sneakers right now—they’re available.)
The other brands on the list benefited from the same model. Fendi climbed the rankings on the strength of its collaboration with Fila, Vetements clung onto its top-ten ranking thanks to a Reebok partnership, and Versace’s Kith collab was cited as a reason for the former’s strong quarter. Here are some other takeaways from Lyst’s rankings.
Nike is undoubtedly a fashion brand now
We’ve been beating this drum for a little now, but no one benefited from the way our closets grew sportier and more casual like the Swoosh. Nike’s jumped 16 spots, from 20 to 4, since the beginning of this year. The brand is drafting off a host of collaborations with Alyx, Dior’s Kim Jones, and Off-White.
Kanye’s only helping the Yeezy brand
A favorite Demna Gvasalia-designer brand is emerging
Vetements and Balenciaga, both designed by Gvasalia, are trending in opposite directions. While Balenciaga held steady in the list’s top three, Vetements continued its slide from third at the beginning of the year to eighth this most recent quarter. There were reports earlier this year that Vetements sales were “dead” at certain retailers—a claim that the brand’s CEO Guram Gvasalia strongly denied. We’re not ready to close the casket on Vetements yet, but it’s clear that shoppers have decided where Demna is doing his strongest work.
Choo, choo! Gucci is an unstoppable runaway train
We’re going on three and a half years of Gucci designer Alessandro Michele’s whimsical maximalist designs and customers are still asking for more. The brand’s been in the top two all year, landing just behind Off-White in this edition of the rankings. It doesn’t hurt that Gucci has a strong brand legacy, too. According to Lyst, customers are also searching for Tom Ford-era Gucci.
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