Trends and “it” items rule the fashion conversation—usually because the thing everyone is talking about is also the thing everyone wants to buy. Nothing proves this more than the latest Lyst Index ranking of the hottest and best-selling brands, which places Demna Gvasalia’s Balenciaga just ahead of Alessandro Michele’s Gucci as number one this year.
It’s an interesting rivalry: the two houses could not be more different aesthetically (Michele’s retro maximalism is a completely different vibe from Gvasalia’s awkward proportions), but what they have in common is a stable of items that are must-haves for street style stars and editors alike. Gucci, which was previously in the top spot, has been on a role for the past few years, especially with its accessories like customizable bags, and of course the fur loafers. But Balenciaga’s Fall 2017 collection featured some prominent pieces like sock boots and the triangle bag, which seem to have captured the industry’s fleeting attention.
It items—especially accessories—have long been a driving force of making brands relevant (consider the Fendi’s baguette bag and Louis Vuitton’s Takashi Murakami bag from the 2000s). With that in mind, others on the list could be easily guessed by anyone keeping track of what’s cool right now. Off-White (which has been killing it lately with capsule collections and collaborations) was number three, while Vetements and Givenchy (now under Clare Waight Keller’s stewardship) were four and five, respectively.
If this is evidence of anything, it’s that brands producing unique, instantly recognizable items are more likely to succeed in the overcrowded apparel market. Roll your eyes at trend reports and street style roundups all you want, but if the Lyst Index is any indication, they’re a far better reflection of what people are willing to buy than anything else.