Though color in fashion has earned its place as an essential storytelling tool in photo- and video-driven content, color stories are increasingly being used by retailers in their marketing efforts to capture the attention of the quarantined consumer. A new report by retail data analytics company Edited reveals how the trend is to “uplift consumer’s spirits” through the use of bold color and messages that convey optimism and hope.
“As retailers look for new ways to connect with their customers during these unprecedented times, many are turning to color stories as a way to create newness with current stock,” Edited stated.
And they’re taking one of two approaches to using color as a mood enhancer. “A number of retailers are focusing on basic neutral color palettes for customers who want a versatile and timeless home dressing wardrobe,” Edited said.
Meanwhile, other brands and retailers are showcasing items made with lively colors to renew interest in fashion and the ritual of dressing up.
Here, Edited shares the seven top colors that are bound to warm up retail into the fall season.
No surprise that the most calming hue on the color wheel is leading new assortments. However, its destiny as an ‘It’ color for 2020 was written in the cards long before the pandemic when Classic Blue was named Pantone’s Color of the Year.
The prominence of blue as a fashion color is good news for the denim industry, with Banana Republic, for one, touting “Feel-Good Blues” in its recent denim-oriented email marketing. Edited also sees an upswing in blue one-pieces as consumers look for timeless swimwear.
“While pastel blue tones are moving particularly well in the market, bolder shades have also seen investment,” Edited reported.
The 2019 Pantone Color of the Year, Living Coral, continues to resonate. The shade has found its way across a variety of product categories spanning underwear, dresses and trousers paired with positive messaging, according to Edited.
The color is especially popular in the U.K. market, as retailers have invested in coral for tops like tank and bandeau styles as well as for layering items, including kimonos and pool-side cover ups. Dresses make up 42 percent of new coral buys in the U.S., which favors the shade for puffed-sleeve and off-the-shoulder silhouettes.
Coral also taps into the ongoing ’70s revival that will evolve into rustier hues for fall.
An instant jolt to the senses, yellow has become a popular choice for retailers and brands to use in their spring communications. In the past month, Edited reported that yellow saw the most exposure in new arrivals across tops and dresses in both the U.S. and U.K.
While golden shades of marigold speak closer to the fall season, Edited expects to see sunnier shades brighten up autumnal assortments. “Although this shade is traditionally associated with summer, its presence on the fall runway combined with pent up demand for vacation wear will give it future longevity, so avoid discounting too heavily,” Edited noted.
Juicy shades of orange are beginning to fill the void left by last summer’s hottest streetwear-inspired hue, neon green. Fast-fashion retailers in particular, Edited noted, have incorporated bold tangerine hues as a standalone color story or mixed with other bright colors for communications this season.
The color has staying power into the fall. Orange has become a popular color pop in otherwise neutral-hued loungewear collections. It also smacks of good times. Edited pointed out how “Aperol orange” became a prominent feature in Spring ’19 collections. “With customers unable to enjoy a European getaway, the drink and the color will hold significance throughout the year,” the report stated.
The enduring appeal for pink transcends product categories, pricing tiers and genders. Though pastel pink was a key color across new arrivals for spring, Edited reported, the firm anticipates the color to evolve into a punchier, even shocking, hue for fall.
Look for bold pink swimwear and activewear to nab prime real estate in retailers’ promotions, and fuchsia suiting and two-piece sets to pick up momentum in the fall.
Though green became a bona fide trend to watch last year when Jennifer Lopez closed out the Spring ’20 Versace show in a verdant tropical-print frock, the color is gaining new meaning to consumers yearning to resume their outdoor lifestyles. Expect to see shades of lush green—as well as tropical and floral prints—gain importance in the coming months in retailers’ communications, Edited reported.
Despite most of the world socially distancing, Edited noted that the color has become a popular choice for “party edits” promoting jumpsuits, coordinating sets and silky frocks.
Red is a safe year-round bet for retailers as the color picks up momentum in swim, bottoms and tops.
However, the color is especially key in the women’s dress category. According to Edited data, dresses made up 38 percent of new red arrivals in the U.K. over the past month, and 24 percent of new red arrivals in the U.S. This is good news for retailers that may need to carry their red inventory into holiday.