Since 2001, Google has released all-encompassing annual reports of its trending hunts. Vogue Runway has chronicled the ups and downs of every report because 2016, with a particular focus on the fashion manufacturers and brands that Google has measured. In that time we have seen interest rise in celebrity designers, in nostalgia, in Meghan Markle, and in Gucci. This year, there’s no such data.
For the first time in recent history, Google chose not to chronicle the world of high style in its 2019 report. Rather than hottest brands or most-searched-for designers, Google offered celebrity fashion positions, outfit thoughts, and female actress appearances. The fashion world painted by Google’s best information is one that is almost entirely internet-centric, with tendencies born from memes, apps, and social media dominating every chart. See Google’s most”trending” star styler, Billie Eilish, or the resounding hunts for VSCO girls, e-girls, and soft girls–all trends popularized on TikTok, Instagram, along with other societal platforms–for the evidence that net aesthetics have become the predominant aesthetics for all our time.
Obviously it is not surprising for Google to function as ground zero for viral trends. The internet-obsessed will search for fashion online. Consider the opposite: Customers with craft-based, erudite taste are probably not Googling”how to The Row,” but rather hitting the designers’ most up-to-date store in London. Nonetheless, the search giant’s lack of any information around luxury fashion does reveal that in an image-obsessed era, the more shocking and viral a commodity is, the more effective it’s going to be.
A similar picture is painted in Lyst’s popular quarterly reports that reveal that luxury shoppers‘ habits are heavily shaped by net culture. Stars and their red rug turns dominate Lyst’s information too, with Timothée Chalamet, Lizzo, Eilish, along with their viral style called vogue fan favorites. Similarly, the most-searched-for products, according to Lyst, are those with high meme-ability, like Jacquemus’s Le Chiquito micro-bag and a pair of octopus-print shorts worn by Jeff Bezos. Is this the end of offline eclecticism because we know it? Maybe not, but the numbers do not lie. As we head into a new decade, it looks like the upcoming great fashion moves will begin online.