How Off-White Became the World’s Hottest Brand

Apart from his disc jockey status, Virgil Abloh has also been producing hit after hit in the fashion industry.

Just days ago, the buzzy designer released a sneak peek of his first designs for Louis Vuitton, the storied French luxury house of which he serves as men’s artistic director. Now his cult streetwear label, Off-White, has been named the hottest brand in the world, according to the reputed Lyst Index.

The report, which marks the global fashion search platform’s third-quarter ranking of fashion’s top names in 2018, put Abloh’s sartorial venture on top (formerly No. 2) — rising 33 places in the index over the last year to surpass Alessandro Michele’s Gucci, which has also seen its share of success as Kering’s cash-cow brand.

Off-White, whose designer was honored with the Shoe of the Year award for his Air Jordan 1 at the 2017 FNAAs, ushered in yet another year of growth and recognition, dressing Grand Slam legend Serena Williams for her return to the U.S. Open and releasing the second installment of its more wallet-friendly “For All” capsule.

Leading up to its track-and-field-themed spring ’19 show at Paris Fashion Week in September, the label also formed much-hyped collaborations, including Ikea and Selfridges, as well as a Mykonos-inspired swim exclusive.

According to Lyst, searches for Off-White across the platform’s partner retailers are up 14 percent quarter on quarter, with the disruptive brand responsible for three out of the 20 items in its hottest-products roundup.

One of its biggest social engagement drivers is reported to be its partnership with Nike, particularly through its “The Ten” sneaker series and the “Queen” collection in honor of Williams’ triumphant comeback on the court in August. (Traffic to Off-White’s e-commerce site climbed 10 percent that month alone, Lyst reported.)

Succeeding both Abloh’s brand and Gucci on the list are Balenciaga, Nike and Prada. See the full index at Lyst.

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