A fresh set of colors is on the horizon, chosen for its renewing and energizing qualities.
Trend forecasting firm WGSN recently released its Fall/Winter 2023-2024 palette developed with color authority Coloro. The five colors reflect the “different journeys” consumers will encounter as they adjust their lifestyles and set new directions for the future. The colors are described as “motivational forces” that will help consumers reconnect with qualities they might have lost sight of during the pandemic, like healing, discovery, transformation, simplicity and pleasure.
Health and healing will be a priority for some, while discovery and travel will “reignite the imagination” for others, WGSN stated.
“Our key colors capture the evolving behaviors of the consumer and are sensitive to their shifting emotional states and changing lifestyles,” said Jenny Clark, WGSN head of color. “We believe confidence will return and vibrant, energizing colors will resonate, connecting to travel and discovery, reigniting the imagination. In contrast, healing and settling tones will appeal to people seeking to calm and rebalance their body and mind.”
The versatile color palette also considers consumers’ interest in long-lasting and versatile products. Joanne Thomas, head of content at Coloro, said new narratives are emerging as “consumers’ desire to live with intent increases; making the right choices for themselves, the planet and other species.”
“With a holistic overview into wellness, designing for emotion will be key, as consumers will need to feel supported while building their vision of the future,” she said.
Fall/Winter 2023-2024 colors
Color cannot escape the billionaire space race. Astro Dust, a mid-tone red that “evokes the dusty and desolate landscape of Mars,” connects to the international obsession with interplanetary exploration. “As commercialized space travel evolves and space tourism becomes a reality, colors of the universe will excite and inspire us,” WGSN stated.
Though Astro Dust signals a shift to “off-kilter” colors that feel ahead of their time, the gender-inclusive hue is expected to update outerwear, knitwear and makeup. Glossy finishes, stained wood effects, anodized and leather applications will dial up the color’s richness and tactility. It also serves as a promising commercial and directional color for the interior category, suitable for large-scale furniture, carpets and bedding, WGSN noted.
The modern Space Age is also stirring up a new hyper-bright shade of blue. Influenced by new technologies, Galactic Cobalt projects a feeling of “escapism and extended reality” yet can be used in multiple ways.
The versatile and techy color makes a natural choice for functional outerwear, consumer tech and virtual experiences, WGSN stated. Galactic Cobalt’s richness, however, lends itself as a key jewel tone for occasionwear, accessories and cosmetics.
“It can be made multidimensional through transformative finishes, satin luster, metallics and anodizing,” WGSN added.
To contrast, Sage Leaf provides a respite from the tech world. The pandemic thrust hobbies like gardening, baking and hand-mending back into the zeitgeist and WGSN expects these forgotten activities to encourage more slower-paced lifestyles.
“As our lifestyles adjust further, consumers will be sensitive to overstimulation and look to environments and colors which reduce anxiety and stress levels in the brain. Sage Leaf is a quiet and settling green that instills a sense of contemplation, rest and reflection,” WGSN stated.
Expect to see Sage Leaf’s therapeutic properties come alive in faux furs, soft knits, brushed jersey, velvets and stone washed linen that exude comfort. The color will also be important for “reductive, considered design” in the home as a color for walls and furniture.
Apricot Crush proves that a color can be both joyful and nourishing. Described by WGSN as a “vitamin-balancing hue,” the mid-tone orange is the “fruity injection of energy to the season.”
The color is also a step up from soft, mindful pastels to brighter and more invigorating tones, which WGSN said will bring a warming luminosity to home and fashion. Apricot Crush’s “sun-bleached nature” makes it a natural companion to neutral colorways in bath and bedroom products, while its gender-inclusiveness is fit for loungewear, activewear and outerwear.
Its playful and restorative side will connect to beauty products, fragrance, skincare and hair color, WGSN added.
Digital Lavender, the “restful” and “soothing” shade of purple that WGSN named 2023 Color of the Year in May, balances the color palette. That balancing property is key as the color becomes a staple for products that promote mental health and gender-inclusive design.
“Brands should embrace the health and wellness attributes of Digital Lavender and use it for smart fitness, wearables and training-led product categories,” WGSN stated. “We also see this restful purple being important for sleep products within the beauty, interiors and fashion industries.”
As its name suggests, the color pops in digital forms like VR and gamified wellness and self-care experiences. WGSN noted that the color is well suited for virtual beauty filters and digital fashion skins, especially when combined with luster and iridescence.