Pantone, the global business authority on colour, has named the shades it believes will be huge this year. Luxe Models investigates.


Colour expert

Based in the US state of New Jersey, Pantone is best known for its colour matching system; a standardised colour reproduction chart. By standardising shades, Pantone gives different manufacturers all over the world, including those in the fashion industry, a chart they can refer to in order to match colours.

The company is also known for predicting a “colour of the year.” Pantone’s colour experts search the world to determine emerging colour trends, and use these to guess which shade will become really trendy throughout the coming year. Last year they said that marsala, what they describe as “a naturally robust and earthy wine red” would be the colour of 2015.

Colour of the year

Pantone was right on the money; marsala and similar shades of red dominated fashion, home décor and design last year. It proved so popular that Pinterest recently suggested that merlot, a slightly darker shade, will be one of the biggest colours of the next 12 months. US news outlet ABC News reported that the company has now named the “colour of the year” for 2016.

But they haven’t gone for one shade; they’ve opted for two. Serenity and rose quartz will be the most popular tones in the fashion, home décor and design industries this year. The company described the colours as “a harmonious pairing of inviting shades that embody a mind-set of tranquillity and inner peace.” Pantone expects these tones to be widely used by jewellery, fashion accessory and wearable technology and makeup producers in 2016.

Challenging colour perceptions

Pantone said in a press release that they chose this combination, rather than one specific colour, due to a growing trend of challenging traditional views of colour association. This reflects the industry’s recent turn towards androgynous styles, which was one of the biggest fashion events of 2015.

Explaining this position, Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Colour Institute said: “In many parts of the world we are experiencing a gender blur as it relates to fashion, which has in turn impacted colour trends throughout all other areas of design.”

Continuing, Eiseman noted: “This more unilateral approach to colour is coinciding with societal movements toward gender equality and fluidity, the consumers’ increased comfort with using colour as a form of expression which includes a generation that has less concern about being typecast or judged, and an open exchange of digital information that has opened our eyes to different approaches to colour usage.”

Trust the experts

Pantone are experts when it comes to colour. They were right about marsala in 2015 and there’s no reason to believe that they’ll be wrong about serenity and rose quartz this year. These shades are set to be huge in 2016, because as the company rightly recognised, fashion is challenging gender perceptions of colour, and using this new mind-set to create some stunning new trends!