Decoding a season’s color card is never as simple as black and white.
However, as retailers develop experiential retail spaces that awaken the senses, and brands incorporate color therapy into their designs, color is playing a larger role in how companies build their collections.
And more than ever, brands must believe in their color selections. Just as consumers can sniff out inauthenticity, they can also identify ways brands use color to empower, soothe, provoke and strengthen their overall story.
“The color that you stand for is the color that is going to be successful,” said Fashion Snoops co-founder and president Lilly Berelovich.
During Fashion Snoops’ Trend Immersion Day in New York City on Monday, Berelovich shared five key colors that will drive themes for home, beauty, fashion and accessories come 2020.
The colors are vivid, pure, optimistic and clear—a result of ongoing cultural movements rooted in activism, sustainability and mindfulness that Berelovich said are poised to carry into the new decade.
Here’s a look at Fashion Snoops’ top colors for 2020:
Just as the home and fashion markets have become comfortable with gray and navy, Berelovich said trends are shifting to brown.
Enter Ground, a shade of brown with a reddish undertone.
As younger generations begin to embrace a slower pace, travel “off the grid” and experiment in slow crafts like ceramics, Berelovich says brown becomes a “reliable neutral” to offset the season’s brighter, more playful colors like bright orange, red, off-white and blue.
“Ground is a stabilizer for bold color expressions,” she added.
The color also evokes a wholesome, protective feeling or, as Berelovich described, “like home.”
The color is an effortless extension to the season’s neutral color palette of mauve-like browns and rusts.
Red has become a signature for brands with an activist message to share, and Berelovich said it will continue to be used to evoke change and grab attention.
However, Berelovich urges designers to reel in the number of red shades they use in their collection. In particular, she’s said Eruption, a red with blue undertones, feels fresh and new.
Designers can use Eruption one of two ways: as a conversation starter in a family of brown, cream and rust orange, or as a twist on the ’80s. Mixed with jade, purple, pink and gold, Berelovich said the color takes on a kitschy nostalgic feel.
The loudest color in Fashion Snoops’ color card, Awe, is “visual bait” that evokes curiosity, Berelovich said.
The “whitened” neon yellow has a touch of citrus and green that makes it feel acid, or as Berelovich described it, “like hazardous waste.” Awe has a fastness and electric energy that Berelovich said intentionally makes consumers feel emotion.
The color complements soft shades of pastel coral, pink and blue, or serves as a pop color with shades of deep brown or gray.
Immune, a deep purple shade, offers brands with wellness stories an authentic alternative to green. The color is rooted in nature-derived materials, butters, herbs and age-old processes like fermentation.
The purple color also has a “mysterious element” and is the color of intuition, Berelovich said.
The color works with combinations like navy, gray and brown, or acts as a foundation to brighter colors like gold and orange. Berelovich added that brands should play with tonality to create offbeat color stories.
Ozone—a crisp, clear atmospheric blue—is a core color for the season’s aquatic and cosmic themes.
Intended to be a “calming, purifying and relaxing” color, Berelovich said the blue “improves metal clarity, opens the mind to dream and represents a chemical-free world.”
Expect to see brands use Ozone with lighter shades of blue and jade for a tonal look, or as a strong primary in bold color stories with gold, red and lime green.