Fashion may be deep into a hot pink cycle which Highsnobiety recently described as “the age of hot pink fury” and a “significantly more intense and bold” counter to “calming, unpretentious and egalitarian” millennial pink. But color, like the consumer, does not stand still.
Universal color system Coloro and trend forecasting firm WGSN presented Wednesday “A Window to the Future of Color,” a selection of five colors that reflect “a mood of realignment, where consumers will adjust to rapid shifts in society and technology.” Colors will also have to traverse seamlessly from the digital world to the physical world.
Though uncertainty will remain a dominant force due to the ongoing economic, political and environmental crisis, the companies said consumers will seek ways to balance uneasiness with optimism. As a result, Jenny Clark, WGSN head of color, said some of the hues have affectionate, approachable, calming and welcoming qualities, while others evoke a sense of nurturing and reassurance.
Pink’s stronghold on consumer product categories continues with Fondant Pink, a pigmented but mellow pastel that exudes a sense of easygoing youthfulness. Expect to see Fondant Pink combined with lavender and lilac shades and be used as a gender-inclusive color for occasion wear, casual wear and children’s wear.
“This color connects to feelings of delight, a sentiment that will become more important to consumers by 2024,” the report stated. “Small moments of awe can act as an antidote to anxiety, enhancing wellbeing and slowing down our perception of time.”
Fondant Pink also evokes a “wellness mood” for residential and commercial interiors, especially when it is paired with other pastels shades. The color has already been applied to Balenciaga’s popup store in London for its new Le Cagole ‘It’ handbag, where the entire space is covered in pink faux fur.
“Gen Z are moving this color into the metaverse, making it feel immersive and imaginative. Fondant Pink will be used for digital gamescapes, virtual goods and phygital retail,” WGSN and Coloro stated.
Restrained and industrial in appearance, WGSN and Coloro described Elemental Blue as a low-key color that can become surreal and experiential in a metaverse environment. In the physical world, the mid-tone practical color speaks to slowed-down lifestyles and the need for stability and moderation.
“Within fashion categories, this light indigo blue appeals to all age demographics, from baby to Boomers. It aligns with reductive and circular design strategies and can be used for practical, reliable products that deliver on function and style,” the report stated.
Versatility is one of the color’s strongest qualities, as it suits a minimalist aesthetic and matte finishes as well as surfaces with high shimmer and tactility. Expect to see the color make an impact in interior paints, furniture, home tech, transportation and mobility design.
Gen Z consumers have embraced brown as a fashion ‘It’ color and now it’s gaining traction in other categories. Nutshell is a rich and spicy trans-seasonal brown that WGSN and Coloro said evokes warmth and reassurance.
“Nutshell has an inherent warmth and tactility that connects to authenticity and craftsmanship. It’s an important color for classic styles and investment pieces, but it can also be used to give directional designs gravitas,” the report stated.
It also relates to consumer trends that were heightened by the pandemic, including sustainability, resale and thrift shopping and an overall “growing nostalgic sentiment” that is driving steady demand for retro-inspired styles and colors.
As the color works on natural and synthetic materials, look for Nutshell to influence wellness and hospitality design and expand into living spaces, beauty packaging and personal tech projects.
Like Pink Fondant, Radiant Red provides designers a sweet and playful hue that is stimulating and emotionally engaging onscreen and off. The light, youthful and optimistic color appeals to all demographics and genders, however.
“While its exuberance shouts high summer, Radiant Red is a trans seasonal bright, suitable for a range of fashion categories,” the report stated. “Brands can utilize its invigorating quality for energizing self-care and wellness-led beauty, personal tech, homewares and packaging. It’s also a great color for 3D design, virtual renders, beauty filters and virtual spaces.”
On a deeper level, Radiant Red connects to one of WGSN’s forecasted society shifts: the care economy. The firm explained how greater emphasis will be placed on giving and receiving care as people and organizations recognize how crucial it is to our wellbeing, communities and economies.
“Radiant Red encapsulates the need to nurture a more affectionate and loving culture,” the report stated.
From “The Matrix green” to “Bottega Veneta green,” there has been no shortage of the nature-inspired hue in design. Cyber Lime, on the other hand, signifies the connection between nature and technology. Described as a near-neon, hyper bright lime green, Cyber Lime highlights how designing with nature is leading to new bio-based colors and material innovations.
“This zesty lime is gaining traction as a gender inclusive, dopamine bright in the premium and youth fashion sector,” the report stated.
Look for the color to gain speed in fitness, outdoor, footwear, accessories and children’s wear categories as both an accent color and a statement solid. The color also lends itself to metaverse beauty, virtual interiors, and gaming products. It can also be applied to home interiors, retail, packaging, tech accessories, e-bikes and scooters.