Pop culture becomes the new runway

Every year, Stylight, the world’s largest search platform for fashion & design products, reflects on the past year from a fashion perspective. While Corona had a very strong impact on the fashion industry last year, the trends and looks in 2021 began moving more and more towards normality. And as things began to return to normal, 2021 was about letting go of comfy, casual “stay at home” clothing and transitioning into bold looks, sexy styles and bright colors. No more sweatpants, no more pajamas, and yes, even no more sneakers. This year, fashion was streaming. Influence not only came from runway shows during fashion week, but also from pop culture , TV series and social networks such as TikTok. The Stylight Fashion Recap highlights 3 major areas of fashion for 2021: the trends that were particularly present this year, the top 5 luxury items that were hot in 2021 and will still be going strong in 2022, and finally the 10 icons that influenced us this year. Enjoy this fashion journey through the past year as well as a sneak peek into the lasting trends and styles in 2022.

Aesthetics & Trends Luxury Copies 2022Icons 2021  Download Full Report

Aesthetics & Trends

While one of the overarching themes of 2021 has been the return of Y2K fashion – there has also been an influx of micro trends and themes that have also made their way into our closets throughout the year. Social media platforms have influenced fashion like never before. They have provided a space for trends to form and grow- leading to a diverse selection of aesthetics. We’ve looked back over the year and collected some of the trends and themes that we believe will still be going strong into 2022.


Dress Like Your Dad

Sneakers are Dead 

Sexy is the New Comfy 


Aesthetics & Trends

Dress like your Dad

There’s no doubt that this year we’ve seen fashion become less gender specific, opening up possibilities for new shapes, silhouettes, and aesthetics. Womenswear has blended into menswear and vice versa and especially on trend is the oversized look. Influencers have mastered the “raid your dad’s closet” look with some key fashion pieces. Clicks on long sleeveless sweaters have increased by +317% compared to last year and XXL trenchcoats have been searched for +223% more as well. These often more masculine-looking silhouettes are being paired with feminine accessories like bejeweled bags or extravagant chokers – searches for XXL chokers have increased by +317%. One of the more notable changes in trends this year has been the gravitation from skinny pants towards more loose-fitting cuts. On Stylight, we’ve seen a +21% increase in searches for baggy pants with menswear inspired tailoring.


(Long) Sleeveless Sweaters

+53% more clicks on Stylight


XXL Chokers

+317% more searches on Google


XXL Trenchcoats

+223% more searches on Google


Baggy pants with men’s tailoring

+21% more clicks on Stylight

Aesthetics & Trends

Sneakers are Dead

Sneakers have been conquering the fashion scene since 2019, but it seems that after months of confinement, their reign might be over. Sure, consumers preferred ultra comfy head-to-toe looks during the height of the pandemic, but the return to normal life seems to mark a real turning point: we want to dress “well” again. And the most watched shows of 2021 like Gossip Girl or The Bold Type have only reinforced this desire. On Stylight, we have noticed a spike in interest and traffic for certain categories of shoes and surprise! They are not sneakers. The Mary Janes (+89% of clicks) a la Gossip Girl are back in force this fall winter 2021, as are kitten heels (+89% of search interest on Google), which may be thanks to the Sex and the City reboot. The chunky loafer like the Monolith loafer by Prada is also one of the flagship shoes of the year: search interest on Google has increased by 295%. And as we still care about our comfort, ugly shoes have not said their last word and one of the key shoes of this year is none other than Crocs.


Chunky Loafers

+295% more searches on Google


Mary Janes

+89% more clicks on Stylight


Kitten Heels

+89% more searches on Google



+76% more clicks on Stylight

Aesthetics & Trends

Sexy is the New Comfy

After a very quiet last year, a lot had to change – it seems like we were all ready to ditch our lockdown outfits. You can almost say: “Sexy is the new Comfy”. And this motto supports a number of fashion trends that were particularly in demand this year. For example, the search interest for sheer tops or dresses on Google has increased by 51%. These are often combined with simple bralettes, which finally completely replaced push-ups. Interest for bralettes on Stylight has increased by 49% this year. The influence of Y2K had an extremely strong impact on trends as well. Interest for the iconic low-rise pants of the early 00’s has increased by 42% on Stylight. We also saw searches for dresses with cut-outs increase by 19%.


Sheer tops

+51% more searches on Google


Lace Bralettes

+49% more clicks on Stylight


Cut Out Dresses

+19% more clicks on Stylight


Low Rise Pants

+42% more clicks on Stylight

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Luxury Copies 2021


When looking at the most sought-after items in 2021, a multitude of products come to mind, but which 5 items are in RIGHT now and will still be in demand going into next year?

We narrowed it down to 5 luxury items that we’ve seen this year on the runways – and we predict these 5 are going to be the items that all the high street brands will want to copy. The first hot item of our fashion recap is the super figure-flattering long-sleeve “Maddy Long Bustier” by Khaite, the original costs around $1500 and fashion magazines like WhoWhatWear have already begun to point out very similar tops for a fraction of the money. H&M already had very similar knit tops in their assortment. The second item that we will see more often in 2022 is a very bold top. We are talking about the knitted cardigan by Jacquemus, the original of which is held together by the iconic logo brooch by Jacquemus and the top influencers have been wearing this hot piece without anything underneath. Item No. 3 is the mini skirt by MiuMiu, which was presented in this year’s Spring/Summer Runway Show 2022. We can already predict that many fashion chains will jump on the bandwagon of these extremely short mini skirts. The Gucci Diana Bag, as the 4th Hot Item 2022, has already been flaunted by many influencers and we will definitely see more like this design next year. The last top item that was in this year but will definitely still be around next year are the white floral print boots by Valentino. At Valentino the shoes cost $980, definitely an investment. But if you don’t want to spend so much money, you can be sure that big fashion chains will copy the style of the white boots in the next year, however the iconic floral pattern, which makes the boot so special, will possibly only be found on the original.



+567% more searches on Google




+340% more searches on Google


Miu Miu
Mini (Micro) Skirt

+135% more searches on Google


Diana Bag

+25% more searches on Google


White (Flower) Boots

+43% more searches on Google

Icons of 2021


The 10 icons we chose for 2021 have marked and influenced our aesthetic perception, have provoked and overcome limits imposed by a society that is rapidly changing. Perfect is boring. Celebrities are beginning to show their imperfections and weaknesses, leaving behind the myth of flawlessness and leaving more space for the human experience.


01. Damiano David (Måneskin) 

02. Britney Spears 

03. Ho Yeon Jung

04. Tom Holland 

05. Simone Biles

06. Omar Sy

07. Duke & Dutchess of Hastings

08. Jennifer Lopez

09. Gigi Hadid

10. The Simpsons

1. Damiano David (Måneskin)

Our number one could only be Damiano, frontman of the now famous musical group Måneskin. Winners of Sanremo and Eurovision and most recently an MTV EMA award for the “Best Rock” category. They have climbed the world charts with their song “Beggin” which has been used in 10.6 million videos on TikTok. With a following of 4.9 million followers on Instagram, the singer is revolutionizing the perception of the Italian man in the global and popular imagination – challenging masculine stereotypes with his eyeliner, nail polish and scandalous costumes.

2. Britney Spears

Since the fashion of the 2000s was a big topic this year, 2nd place could only go to one of the biggest icons of those years: Britney Spears. The media reports surrounding her, as well as several documentaries this year, focused on her fight for liberation from her father’s conservatorship which controlled financial, medical, personal, and professional aspects of her life. With the revival of the Y2K trends it was almost poetic that the hashtag #freebritney developed into a viral movement, aiding in the ultimate termination of her conservatorship.

3. Ho Yeon Jung

Ho Yeon Jung is THE Korean model and one of the main characters in the most successful Netflix series ever – Squid Game. Before her breakthrough as an actress, the 27-year-old had already been in the modeling business for a good 10 years. But since her acting debut, the number of her Instagram followers has increased from 400,000 to a whopping 23 million – plus she’s been the new Global Ambassador for Louis Vuitton since October. Without question, she’s our No. 3 Icon of 2021.

4. Tom Holland

4th place on our list goes to our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man, Tom Holland. He’s the typical high school guy who’s cute and awkward, ultimately winning you over with his down to earth manner. He supports various projects, including the Momentum children’s charity, which helps families with children suffering from cancer. From his legendary performance of “Umbrella” in a Lip Sync Battle, to his various Spider-man sequels, Tom has won hearts around the world (including the heart of co-star and fashion it-girl Zendaya).

5. Simone Biles

Simone Biles is the first and only gymnast in history to win five world titles in individual competition, the most medals to date. In 2017 and 2021, she was named one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World by TIME magazine and was also just nominated for the 2021 People’s Choice Awards. Simone is not only an incredible athlete, but also a formidable woman who has managed to raise awareness about mental health as well as take the stand to speak up against sexual abuse.

6. Omar Sy

Omar Sy was not only recently named Man of the Year 2021 by GQ Germany, he was also the star of one of the most exciting series ever. We’re talking about the Netflix series Lupin, which saw a 460% increase in interest for Nike Air Jordans on Stylight shortly after its release on January 8. Chapeau Omar!

7. Duke & Duchess of Hastings

A list of the most important incons of 2021 would not be complete without at least one royal couple. But if you were expecting the “infamous” Harry and Meghan, you’ll be disappointed. Instead, the Duke and Duchess of Hastings from the Netflix series Bridgerton made it into our list this year. The pair wowed us with their on screen chemistry, keeping us entertained throughout the lockdowns of 2021. Because of its popularity Bridgerton sparked the revival of several fashion trends like “regency-core”, pearl jewelry, empire waist dresses, and chokers.

8. Jennifer Lopez

Jennifer Lopez is our “veteran” among the icons 2021. This year, Jenny from the Block has shown us more than ever that 50 is just a number and that life can still be the same as 15 years ago, even when it comes to love, right Ben Affleck? Singer, actress, dancer and style icon J.Lo continues to inspire all generations and teaches us that life is made up of ups and downs, but that in the end you can always get back up and come back even happier than before.

9. Gigi Hadid

Gigi Hadid is certainly one of the top supermodels of our decade. This year she made it to the 9th place of our icons because she pointed out a critical aspect of our society: The balance between motherhood and work. After giving birth to her daughter Khai in September 2020, she made her runway debut as a model again this year. Not having her typical model figure from before her pregnancy, she was criticized and celebrated in the media in equal measure. In doing so, she showed us that pregnancy can change any woman’s body and we should celebrate that!

10. The Simpsons 

10th place belongs to the “The Simpsons”, who close our list of icons thanks to their appearance at the Balenciaga fashion show. The short film starring our favorite family has already been viewed over 8 million times on the brand’s official YouTube channel since its release on October 2. They show us that now more than ever, luxury is a concept that needs the approval and understanding of a large audience to exist. Balenciaga thus becomes a brand for everyone, and part of our common knowledge thanks to this American family.

About this Report

All data in this report refers to the same time periods to ensure that the figures are comparable with each other and thus make it clear for which trends or products interest has particularly increased. To analyze this data, we examined the shopping and search behavior of the 120 million annual users on Stylight. For our Fashion Recap 2021, we compared the clicks on different categories or product pages on the international pages of Stylight, in the period at the beginning of the year (January 1, 2021) with mid-October (October 15, 2021). The same period also applies to the data on search interest on Google Trends, early January versus mid or late October 2021.

written by:

Rebekah Ortquist

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