Nov 17, 2021
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'Joyful' fashion reigns in 2021 as colour is key, says Lyst report

Nov 17, 2021

Lyst has released its Year in Fashion report for 2021, detailing the transition to the “new normal” as consumers “dressed up to go out and to make ourselves feel good” even though the effects of the pandemic remained.

Versace - Spring-Summer2021 - Womenswear - Milan - © PixelFormula

It said consumers clearly craved “clothes that bring joy” after a year of lockdowns and that from April to August, searches for bright, bold colourful pieces, specifically in hot pink, orange, yellow and green, spiked 191%. Meanwhile, from March to August, demand for bold jewellery (specifically “colourful”, “beaded”, “rainbow” and “resin”) soared as much as 545%. 

The lifting of social distancing measures also saw the return of events and social life so “going-out” fashion saw a revival. “Much like the 1920s, short hems were one of the fastest-rising trends in 2021”, Lyst said, “as searches for mini skirts and dresses jumped 221% year-on-year”. Global searches for high heels also grew “consistently” from May and “disco heels’’ spiked 233% in the same month.

Influencer events also returned and impacted fashion searches and purchasing behaviour.

The Met Gala’s Return saw online searches for Brother Vellies, which put Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in a ‘Tax The Rich’ statement dress, spiking 120% in less than 24 hours. Page views for ERL, as seen on A$AP Rocky, rose by 259%. But Balenciaga (worn by Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and Elliott Page) saw the greatest increase, with searches up 505% in 48 hours. 

Fashion Month was also a big comeback event and almost a week after NYFW, searches for mini bags rose 56%, Thom Browne skirts rose 36% and cut-out knits rose 33%. With preppy looks popular at LFW, leather loafers (+28%), and Peter Pan collar shirts (+23%) jumped over the course of a few weeks. Meanwhile, Balenciaga generated the most interest in online searches after its runway show thanks to its partnership with The Simpsons, as page views rose 355% within 24 hours.


The return of sports, such as the Olympics and the Euros, sparked an interest in sportswear. In June, ahead of Euro 2020, global searches for “football” and “soccer” T-shirts increased 33%. At the Tokyo Games, skateboarding’s official Olympic debut sent searches for the Nike SB range (especially its Dunk Low sneakers), rising 100% in just 48 hours. 

Another return to near-normality was the migration back to offices worldwide in the second half with Lyst saying many workers turned to “a more relaxed, smart-casual version of the corporate-appropriate uniform”. In August, demand for oversized suits jumped 109%, compared to last year, while wide-leg pants were in high demand from July, increasing by 87%. 


Many individual influencers kept a fairly low profile last year in the light of the pandemic, but they're back in force this year, and the clothes they've been wearing have been flying off the shelves.

Lyst said searches for Dua Lipa’s zebra-print bikini from The Attico in “Love Again” increased 224% on the release of the video; Kanye West’s red puffer jacket from his Yeezy x Gap collaboration saw page views for red down jackets spiking 73% and searches for his brand Yeezy jumping 128%;  and Billie Eilish in June caused online searches for corsets to spike 74% in just two days, while in July, she caused latex pant searches to jump by 147%. 

On the brand and product front, breakout brands this year have included Nensi Dojaka, I.AM.GIA, Harris Reed, Maximilian, The Attico, Christopher Esber, Story Mfg, Heaven by Marc Jacobs, and SKIMS.

Prada's crochet bag

And the ‘most wanted’ products were a mixed bunch of high and low. The top 10 included Levi’s loose fit jeans with searches up 52%; the Rolex Submariner watch (topping the most wanted accessory list); Bottega Veneta’s mini Jodie bag (the most searched-for bag on Lyst this year); Birkenstock Boston Clogs that got 36% more page views than the label’s popular Arizona sandal; the Thom Browne black pleated skirt; Nensi Dojaka’s asymmetric mini dress; the Prada crochet bag; the Jacquemus La Maille Pralù cardigan; Pangaia hoodie; plus & Other Stories’ striped jumper.

Finally the hottest sneakers were the Nike Air Force 1 with searches up 248% year-on-year and users on Lyst searching for the product more than 4,000 times each day. Next was the Off-White x Nike Dunk Low ‘THE50’ series. In just 48 hours after the launch, searches for the sneakers spiked 236% and resale platform prices shot up. And third was the Yeezy Foam Runner. The clog-like sneaker was released in more colourways and thanks to this, searches spiked 411% in Q3.

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