Photograph courtesy of SSENSE. Design by Kayleen Dicuangco.

Off-White’s Face Mask is the Most Searched Menswear Item of 2020

Here's how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected fashion in the first quarter of 2020.

Everyone is on the hunt for fashionable face masks, it would seem. With the COVID-19 pandemic still raging on and health authorities condoning the use of non-surgical face masks to help the spread of the virus, searches for face masks have risen sharply in recent weeks. So much so, that the Off-White face mask is the most searched item in the world in the menswear category for Q1, according to fashion data platform Lyst.

Lyst released its Q1 Lyst Index today and its findings show the early effects of the coronavirus on the fashion industry. In the report the company notes, “The Lyst Index for Q1 reflects a period which has been anything but ‘business as usual’ in significant parts of Asia for most of the three months; and in Europe and North America for the final weeks of the quarter,” adding however that “consumers’ brand allegiances remain largely unchanged” during that time. It also noted that the Q2 report is likely to “paint a clearer picture of COVID-19’s global impact.”

The most notable impact is the fact that the Off-White face mask topped the menswear category. Plus, the report also revealed that searches for fashion face masks in general surged by a whopping 496 per cent over the quarter.

Elsewhere, the report also crowned the Virgil Abloh-led brand as the hottest brand in the world for the third consecutive quarter, followed by Balenciaga, Nike, Gucci and Prada. The index noted there was a 733 per cent increase in searches for the Nike Kobe Bryant sneakers following his passing in February (and that Nike jumped nine places from last quarter), and that there was a 911 per cent increase in social mentions of Prada on the day the brand announced Raf Simons was joining. Buzzy brand Jacquemus also made the top 20 for the first time, as did Rick Owens and Thom Browne.

In the women’s hottest products line-up, sustainable and inclusivity-focused brand Telfar made the list for the first time thanks to its logo tote bag. On both lists, sweatpants, sweaters, robes and various sneakers also appeared, likely a reflection of our increased interest in lounge and athleisure wear. Interestingly, a pre-owned Chanel classic double flap bag rounded out the women’s top 10, with a 75 per cent increase in searches, highlighting an increased interest in resale products.

See the full report here.

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