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Pantone Names the 10 Colors You Need to Know for New York Fashion Week

The color choices used for Spring/Summer 2021 collections will reveal a lot about how the fashion industry plans to navigate its road to recovery and the tone designers aim to set.

Trend forecasting and color consultancy Pantone Color Institute released Thursday the Pantone Fashion Color Trend Report Spring/Summer 2021 edition for New York Fashion Week. Published for the fashion industry, the report provides a sneak peek of the top 10 standout colors, as well as current takes on the five core classics fashion week watchers can expect to see as designers unveil their next collections.

New York Fashion Week, which kicks off Sunday with a truncated roster of hybrid digital presentations, livestreams and intimate in-person events, will offer a first look at how Spring/Summer 2021 collections will be experienced in the coming month.

While the future of seasonal collections as well as the relevancy of ready-to-wear and dress-up fashion have been up for debate during the past six months, the impact of color remains unchanged. And during a time when designers are turning to unconventional ways to share their direction for the upcoming season, color will likely be a grounding force in collections.

Look for color to convey the emotional outlook designers have for spring, which is often regarded as a renewing season, while also speaking to the growing demand for fashion built with longevity in mind.

“Offering a range of shades illustrative of nature, colors for Spring/Summer 2021 underscore our desire for flexible color that works year-round,” said Leatrice Eiseman, Pantone Color Institute executive director. “Infused with a genuine authenticity that continues to be increasingly important, colors for Spring/Summer 2021 combine a level of comfort and relaxation with sparks of energy that encourage and uplift our moods.”

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An energizing spirit is captured in colors like PANTONE 14-1050 Marigold, a comforting golden orange infused with yellow, and PANTONE 13-0647 Illuminating, an optimistic yellow that offers “the promise of a sunny day,” Pantone describes.

In an uncharacteristic move, PANTONE 18-1248 Rust adds an earthy brown hue to the spring/summer lineup that is reminiscent of autumnal leaves. Similarly, Pantone takes a subdued step away from its 2019 Color of the Year Living Coral to express “conviviality” with PANTONE 16-1529 Burnt Coral.

Shades of blue add a sense of calmness. PANTONE 15-4020 Cerulean mimics the color of the sky on a serene, crystal-clear day, while PANTONE 18-4140 French Blue is described as “a stirring blue hue that awakens a vision of Paris in the springtime”—an antidote for the travel band that most U.S. citizens are experiencing and an offshoot of Pantone’s 2020 Color of the Year Classic Blue.

Greens continue to trend. PANTONE 13-0117 Green Ash, “a mentholated green” cools and soothes. Likewise, a PANTONE 16-5938 Mint has the ability to refresh and restore fashion.

A spring/summer season would not be complete without some references to florals and fruit. PANTONE 18-2043 Raspberry Sorbet brings a tantalizing effect, Pantone stated, while PANTONE 17-3628 Amethyst Orchid “introduces a unique touch” and purple-tinted alternative to the vivid pinks that have dominated women’s fashion for several seasons.

Core values

Pantone’s top 10 colors for Spring/Summer ’21 are balanced with a set of core classics. These hues, Pantone stated, are versatile and each one  “transcends the seasons and allows for more freedom of choice.”

With PANTONE 19-4016 Inkwell, designers can incorporate a “deep and intense blackened blue” to their collections. PANTONE 17-5104 Ultimate Gray represents assurance and composure. As neutrals continue to trend upward, Pantone introduces PANTONE 11-0110 Buttercream, a smooth, creamy hue that is easy and effortless.

Nature is also a source of inspiration for these foundational colors. PANTONE 14-1127 Desert Mist is based on images of shifting powdery sands, Pantone described. And PANTONE 16-0632 Willow—a color that will likely be popular in utility looks—serves as a shade of green that “reveals and conceals.”