In general, we’re all about scoring the best fashion finds on a budget, but sometimes we (and our readers) want to splurge on something ultra luxe. Of course, when we do, our hope is that our purchase turns out to be less of a temporary fling and more of an investment—something that is trending but still on the rise, better than options we could have bought for under $100, and from a brand that has some staying power for future seasons. If you’re left wondering how in the world you're supposed to ensure all of that, stick with me because my aim is to help.
By combining insights from savvy Who What Wear readers’ actual luxury purchases and product clicks, on-site search for top-tier brands, and intel on what labels our 3.2 million-plus Instagram followers are giving the most love to when we post, I’ve narrowed in on not only the buzziest brands of the moment but the types of items worth spending on, too. So whether you have a major fall trend on your mind or you’re looking to up your basics game, the below breakdown can be your guiding light. Just keep scrolling to get started.
Of the many, many high-end brands in the fashion space, these are the stars that are undeniably burning brightest right now. From established houses such as Chanel and Gucci to (relatively) newer names like The Row and Jacquemus, these labels have been spotted all over the street style scene and are dominating our on-site search and topping Who What Wear readers’ luxury product clicks and purchases. This tells us that they're investment-worthy for not only the season ahead but the long haul.
Not surprisingly, Chanel is this season (and most seasons') MVP, topping Who What Wear readers' luxury product clicks at number one, ranking high in on-site search while rising year over year and starring in many of our highest-engaged Instagrams.
Pictured: Chanel Waist Bag ($5000)
Loewe, a personal longtime favorite of mine, can also claim a top spot this season thanks to its rising search presence relative to other established luxury brands and high quantity of product clicks.
Pictured: Loewe Gate Mini Textured-Leather Shoulder Bag ($1350)
This should come as no surprise, as Gucci's re-rise to stardom since Alessandro Michele's 2015 appointment as creative director was one of the most noteworthy fashion comebacks of the decade. However, here's a fun fact for you: @whowhatwear's top-engaged post of the entire year was thanks to the brand's dressing of Harry Styles for the Met Gala back in May.
Since the reintroduction of Fendi's iconic Baguette bag earlier this year, we've not only seen the brand's street style and Instagram presence skyrocket, but its search volume and product clicks relative to other luxury brands on-site have followed suit and increased accordingly as well.
Pictured: Fendi bag
Similar style: Fendi Baguette Large ($3290)
I probably don't need to tell you about "new Bottegas" literal explosion over the last six months, but to put the brand's rapid rise in popularity since Daniel Lee's appointment as creative director in to perspective, it ranked second in year-to-date luxury product clicks on our entire site (topped only by Chanel), and its on-site search also experienced the second-highest increase of a top-tier brand since the start of 2019.
Pictured: Bottega Veneta Embellished Leather-Trimmed Mesh Pumps ($890)
Following Chanel and Bottega Veneta, the third highest-clicked luxury brand on our site was none other than Prada, and it's clear why. The reissuing of its iconic nylon accessories and RTW along with consistently trend-forward runways and collections makes the brand among our readers' (and editors') top choices.
Pictured: Prada Zip-Detailed Nylon Skirt ($1560)
On the Rise
While her eponymous label was only launched in 2014, London-based Rejina Pyo has already become a favorite with luxury buyers and shoppers. Thanks in part to the brand's presence on all our favorite e-tailers including Shopbop and Net-a-Porter, it's among the top-clicked on our site and ranks third in search increase since the beginning of the year.
Pictured: Rejina Pyo Ira Draped Silk-Satin Blouse ($595)
Much like my own interest in the brand, Nanushka's stature continues to rise steadily. Quantifiably, the label ranks high in luxury product clicks and search volume increase, but all it really takes to know that its pieces are a hit is to simply scroll through your Instagram feed (or Who What Wear) and see what influencers, editors, and celebrities are wearing.
Pictured: Nanushka Amas Vegan Leather Wrap Skirt ($395)
Since launching in 2006, The Row has quietly gone from insider secret to celebrity favorite in recent years thanks to its elevated (and high-quality) essentials and wildly successful accessories including its Coco mules, Bare leather sandals, Ascot bag, and Double-Circle bag. In terms of our audience, the numbers show that The Row is also among the top clicked and most increased in search.
Pictured: The Row Double Circle Small Satin Bag ($1790)
It's easy to instantly spot Jacquemus's many mini bags all over Instagram and street style, but a trained eye can tell you that even the brand's less-identifiable ready-to-wear items have also taken over the fashion scene. In line with that observation, we've seen its products garner massive engagement on our Instagram, and its on-site search has continued to increase period over period. While Jacquemus didn't rank for product clicks, my guess is that it's because its biggest hits sell out before anyone can even promote them.
Pictured: Jacquemus Thika Leopard-Print Cotton-Blend Midi Skirt ($1325)
Never heard of Paris Texas? Now would be the time to bookmark the brand because from everything I can see, it's on the up-and-up. Plus, what better time of year to invest in a luxe and on-trend pair of mock-croc or snake-effect of boots than right at the start of fall?
Pictured: Paris Texas Metallic Croco High Boot ($865)
After gaining Rihanna's stamp of approval (in addition to countless other celebrities and influencers), it's obvious why Amina Muaddi's photogenic and forward shoes are a hit among our Instagram followers and on-site shoppers. Still, it's always impressive to see such a young brand make such a major splash in the space.
Pictured: Amina Muaddi Begum slingback pumps
Similar style: Amina Muaddi Gilda Crystal-Embellished Satin Mules ($945)
Another steady favorite of mine? Alexander Wang, of course—and I'm not the only one. With on-site search trending upward and a recent Bulgari handbag collaboration cementing Wang's icon status, we had to close out our buzzy brand list with the influential designer.
Pictured: Alexander Wang Nova Studded Sandal ($695)
What exactly are Who What Wear readers spending top dollar on from the aforementioned brands? The above data-informed list tells you all you need to know. Noticeably (and understandably) absent are a handful of pieces that are easier to find expensive-looking affordable options for. Think basics such as tees and tanks, jeans, sunglasses, sneakers, and athletic-wear.
Naturally, the items that did make the list ended up being very in line with what we've already talked about in previous articles. For example, our editor Allyson Payer recently explained why she avoids buying embellished shoes unless they are high-end. Sometime before that, my own mom broke down why animal-print pieces are always worthy of investing in. Ahead, shop my pick for each splurge-worthy category.
Out of the approximately 500 photos posted to Who What Wear’s Instagram account over the last six months, the below snaps ranked among the highest in engagement when compared to other posts that included or focused on luxury brands. Given the role social media and Instagram appeal play in a brand’s success these days, the approval of our 3.2 million followers helps further corroborate these brands’ status as some of the top labels of the year to date and season ahead.