Luxury fashion trends ebb and flow, but this year, it’s all about the casual/quarantine comfort and new definitions of style
An italist internal analysis of sales trends during March, April, and May of 2020 versus the same period last year netted some useful insights into the world of luxury fashion trends. We broke it out by gender, and have highlighted the brands that saw the biggest increase year over year.
Given the broader current situation, it may come as no surprise that the demand for certain brands’ women’s collections has increased while others have been flat. Some upward luxury fashion trends indicate a return to stealth wealth, while others are due mainly to new creative direction…
- DRKSHDW: launched as a streetwear spinoff to the Rick Owens main line in 2005, DRKSHDW has proven its staying power. This spring, we’re one of the few places to find the line’s sneakers for women—though ultimately the line is quite unisex. Simple canvas sneakers with sturdy vulcanized rubber soles, expertly made in Italy? Yes please!
- Alexander McQueen: though the namesake designer has been gone for ten years, his label carries on with iconic shapes like the Larry chunky sneaker.
- Bottega Veneta: Ever since Daniel Lee took over, it’s been a new love affair with shapes like The Pouch clutch and all of the footwear.
- Isabel Marant: French boho florals will always flatter, and cheerful prints paired with comfy stay-in staples have been good for this label.
- Maison Margiela: John Galliano has reinvigorated the original quirky flavor of Martin Margiela and made it interesting in every category, from ready to wear to Tabi-toe shoes and accessories.
- Celine: another heritage house upended by a flashy new creative director! Hedi Slimane, formerly of Saint Laurent, has transformed this quiet label into a full-fledged line, and the new designs drawing on the brand’s past are popular as ever.
- Versace: maybe it’s the season or maybe it was Jennifer Lopez at the runway show, but Versace’s iconic bright, bold prints have given us some levity while in lockdown, and we’re loving the jungle vibe.
Also of note: these aren’t the top selling brands, only the labels that saw the largest increase. The top brands for women are fairly consistent over time: Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci, Saint Laurent, Givenchy, and Golden Goose.
For luxury fashion menswear, it’s a similar story: comfort wins, along with good investment brands like John Lobb and Thom Browne, with splashes of branded boldness mixed in.
- John Lobb: for sure this is a niche label and a niche trend, but just as flashy labels have been trending over the last few years (maximalism!), John Lobb’s shoes represent the polar opposite aesthetic: traditional, subtle, and meticulously constructed. The sort of shoes you invest in, care for, and wear forever.
- Prada: the label that made nylon sexy is back, and we always loved its luxurious sportswear, classical accessories, and bold shoes. What’s not to like?
- Loewe: J.W. Anderson has transformed this Spanish leathergoods brand into a comprehensive label that for men, makes casual weekend-wear out of dreamy textures and colors inspired by the Mediterranean.
- Palm Angels: colorful tracksuits? Bold flame prints? Give us the low-rider Cadillac and we’re set for a So-Cal summer.
- Rick Owens: if any label could be called consistent, it’s Rick Owens. He pioneered the luxe-grunge aesthetic, and has remained the label to wear if you love slouchy, drapey silhouettes and sumptuous fabrics that feel like a second skin.
- Balmain: just as Balmain was already hugely popular with women—the double-breasted blazer is a consistently popular style—the menswear line has increased in popularity too. To be a part of the Balmain army, look for bold graphics and bright hardware.
- Thom Browne: Mr. Browne deftly walks the tightrope between traditional and avant-garde, blending fashion with sartorial excellence through motifs like his signature red-white-and-blue grosgrain taping and the 4-bar arm stripes. Though their aesthetics are totally different, Thom Browne and Rick Owens are similar in their steadfast commitment to a singular style vernacular, which makes them excellent trend-less styles.
As with women’s, these aren’t the top selling brands, only the labels that saw the largest increase. The top brands for men are mostly consistent over time: Dolce & Gabbana, Off-White, Saint Laurent, and Golden Goose.
Discover more luxury fashion rankings and top brands: Dolce & Gabbana, our most sold label; the top brands of 2019; and how italist is a platform for discovery. Also see our previous infographic of rankings, from 2016, separated by geography!
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