The Most Searched Apparel and Footwear in 2017

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Photo credit: Gucci

Fashion had major moments this year and global fashion search platform Lyst is highlighting the brands and trends that dominated consumers’ attention—and wardrobes—over the past twelve months.

Tracking more than 100 million searches and sales data across five million apparel and footwear products, Lyst’s research showed what consumers wore the most this year and the factors that led their fashion purchases.

Gucci topped Lyst’s most searched brands of 2017—followed by Forever 21, Balenciaga, Vetements, Free People, Saint Laurent, Nike, Topshop, Michael Kors and Givenchy.

In addition to these fashion powerhouses, Lyst also found that cultural events, self-expression, nostalgia and sustainability were key drivers for consumers’ style preferences this year.

2017’s biggest fashion trends, colors and patterns

Gucci-ish items, logos, “woke” fashion and throwback decades were among the major fashion trend influences this year.

When it comes to fashion, Gucci remains king of consumers’ apparel and footwear choices. Lyst found more than 35 million searches for the luxury leader this year, and when consumers searched for specific Gucci items, they also searched for trademark Gucci details, including loud florals, clashing prints and green and red stripes.

Even though Gucci influenced most of 2017’s fashion trends, consumers also snatched up vintage-inspired pieces, logo apparel and garments with political messages for their wardrobes.

Logos were a major hit over the past 12 months, specifically for luxury labels and retro sports brands. Balenciaga, Gucci, Loewe and Saint Laurent products were among those favored for logos, while Champion, Fila and Kappa’s throwback athletic logos yielded a 460 percent increase in searches this year.

Woke fashion, or apparel with political and social slogans, were also popular among consumers. Slogan T-shirt searches increased 105 percent in 2017—potentially a result of designers’ choices to embrace feminism and diversity in their season lineups and consumers buying their products to express personal beliefs.

Joining these major trends were vintage-inspired products. From apparel to footwear, fashion shifted to the ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s, and decade-specific elements, including velvet, flare pants and spaghetti straps, made their way into many consumers’ outfits in 2017.

Core fashion colors, including black, grey and white, remained popular year-round, but unconventional shades also took the spotlight in 2017.

Lyst’s research indicated that energetic hues, like pink, mustard and rainbow, were among consumers’ favorites. From Millennial pink to fuchsia, Lyst featured 19,000 more pink fashion items on its website and found 56 percent more pink searches this year. During the Fall, Lyst witnessed 3,000 searches daily containing the word ‘mustard,’ a cozy alternative to last year’s browns. Culling inspiration from the unicorn craze, apparel and footwear shoppers pursued more multicolor items, and searches for rainbow products peaked in January and November.

Consumers upped the ante on patterns, prints & fabric searches this year, turning away from standard cotton, denim and wool.

Corduroy, vinyl and dark florals were the top patterns, prints and fabrics for 2017. Corduroy searches tripled, while vinyl searches increased by 114 percent. Following the resurgence of gothic styles in the spring, dark florals continued to appear in many apparel and footwear items during the summer and fall.

On a seasonal level, gingham, palms and plaid also spiced up consumers’ wardrobes this year. In April, there were more than 7,000 searches daily for gingham on Lyst’s website. For the summer, palm prints dominated beachwear and swimwear searches. Plaid blazers also overtook shirts as the most wanted checkered women’s products in 2017, providing consumers with an edgy garment for cooler fall days.

[Read more on this year’s leading fashion trends: NPD: What to Expect for Fashion in 2017]

Digital led the way in 2017

Consumers turned to digital platforms, including websites and social media—Instagram in particular—to search for the most-wanted products this year.

From January to December, logo T-shirts, mom-cut jeans and luxury closet must-haves were searched the most by consumers. For early 2017, Champion sweatshirts were searched the most in January and Forever 21’s plaid skirt topped February’s product searches. In the warmer months, Puma’s Fenty bow sneakers, Levi’s Wedgie jeans, Gucci’s logo T-shirt and Versace Medusa slides topped searches. In the fall, consumers searched for Topshop’s shearling bike jacket, Balenciaga’s swing puffer jacket and Balenciaga’s Speed sneakers the most.

Instagram played a key role in consumers’ product searches this year, inspiring shoppers to click and buy items shown in influencers’ photos. Gucci nabbed the top two spots for Lyst’s Cult Insta-Hits list—with its logo T-shirt and GG belt taking over most Instagram product searches. Other Instagram apparel hits included the Balenciaga ‘Bernie’ hoody, Lisa Marie Fernandez swimwear, Rejina Pyo’s puff sleeve dress, RE/DONE patchwork jeans, Ganni’s croissant T-shirt and Caroline Constas tops.

Product searches also took an unexpected turn this year, making a big impact on consumers’ fashion preferences. Sleeves became 2017’s statement body zone—and searches with the word ‘sleeve’ increased 35 percent year-over-year on Lyst, while consumers bought power sleeve tops the most from Ellery, Zara, Jacquemus and Vetements. Unconventional denim, including plastic jeans, also had a moment, with Vetements x Levi’s collaboration ‘bare butt’ denim and Topshop’s clear plastic jeans leading consumers’ product searches in this category. Other surprising searches included fruit-clad garments, unicorn-inspired fashion and luxury socks—all of which sprung up periodically over the past few months.

Additionally, consumers based their product searches on cultural events. Viral moments, including Princess Diana’s month-long tribute, inspired consumers to search for products like her iconic looks—including black bodycon mini dresses and shoulder-padded dresses. Entertainment, including Netflix’s Stranger Things and La Land, also influenced consumers to search for garments and footwear similar to characters’ styles.

Denim gets experimental

Lyst witnessed a denim search every two seconds this year, and even though skinny jeans remain the most popular denim fit worldwide, the category introduced new cuts, elements and styles.

Culling inspiration from vintage denim styles, searches for ‘mom jeans’ were up 109 percent—with Levi’s Wedgie style in blue as the most wanted pair of jeans globally in 2017. Frayed hem jean searches were also up 240 percent this year—made popular by top fashion brands, including Mother, RE/DONE and Vetements. Straight leg denim searches increased 60 percent year on year, while embroidered denim and kick flares also took centerstage in consumers’ closets.

Luxury and streetwear led footwear searches

Most footwear searches this year fell into two major categories—luxury and streetwear.

Gucci’s GG Blooms Supreme Slides and Givenchy logo slides were the most searched shoes in 2017, with Vetements sock boots, Saint Laurent crystal boots and Mansur Gavriel mules also nabbing top spots.

On the streetwear side, sneakers remained the most popular footwear style in 2017. Fenty’s Puma bow sneaker was the most searched sneaker this year, and other popular styles, including Vans’ Old Skool sneaker and Comme des Garcons Play sneaker were popular footwear searches among consumers.

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