Off-White Is Named World’s Hottest Brand; Kaepernick Catapults Nike Into the Top 5 of Lyst Index

Virgil Abloh performs on stage at the YouTube cocktail party during Paris Fashion Week on Sept. 26, 2018, in Paris.
Virgil Abloh performs on stage at the YouTube cocktail party during Paris Fashion Week on Sept. 26, 2018, in Paris.
Photo: Victor Boyko (Getty Images for YouTube)

Virgil Abloh’s seemingly unstoppable reign in fashion continues. The Lyst Index, a quarterly ranking of fashion’s hottest brands and products, place his Off-White label firmly atop the list in its third-quarter findings. This is a jump from Quarter 2, which placed the brand in the second spot, and leapfrogs the brand over long-established juggernauts such as Gucci and Balenciaga for the first time. Additionally, three out of 20 of the Lyst Index’s hottest products are from Off-White.


Abloh collaborator Nike also made a major leap on the brand index, rising five spots to claim the fourth spot, thanks in large part to their latest campaign star, Colin Kaepernick. Kaep’s controversial appearance has been extremely lucrative for the brand. Aside from soaring stocks, the brand has benefited from an unprecedented wave of free publicity, as search traffic to Nike-related pages has bumped 13 percent quarter over quarter. The brand also dominates the list of hottest fashion products, with four out of 20 being Nike products—including the Nike M2K Tekno, the first product to simultaneously appear on the men’s and women’s hottest products lists.

While Kanye’s personal credibility and cachet remain in question, his Yeezy brand also moved up five spots after dropping out of the top 10 last quarter. But it wasn’t Ye’s behavior that tipped the scales in Yeezy’s favor; Lyst credits the jump to viral social moments like the brand’s unintentionally hilarious #likebutter launch of the Adidas Yeezy Boost 350 V2, which sparked dozens of memes.

And last but never least when it comes to immense influence, LeBron James continues making as big an impact on fashion as he does on the court. After wearing Just Don’s luxury basketball shorts for his first public appearance since signing with the Los Angeles Lakers, the NBA star helped catapult the product into fifth place on the hottest products list.

Maiysha Kai is Managing Editor of The Glow Up, co-host of The Root Presents: It's Lit! podcast, and your average Grammy-nominated goddess next door...May I borrow some sugar?