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The Pantone Color of the Year 2022 Is…

Goodbye Illuminating and Ultimate Gray. Hello, Very Peri.

Pantone, the global color authority and provider of professional color language standards, introduced a new blue shade, Very Peri, or Pantone 17-3938, as the Pantone Color of the Year for 2022.

By combining the “faithfulness and constancy of blue with the energy and excitement of red,” Pantone said it landed on the “happiest and warmest of all the blue hues.” It is the first time Pantone has created a color for its Color of the Year selection.

That decision reflects the “global innovation and transformation taking place,” said Laurie Pressman, Pantone Color Institute vice president. “As society continues to recognize color as a critical form of communication and as a way to express and affect ideas and emotions and engage and connect, the complexity of this new red-violet-infused blue hue highlights the expansive possibilities that lie before us,” she said.

Very Peri brings a novel perspective to the blue family, said Leatrice Eiseman, Pantone Color Institute executive director. “Encompassing the qualities of the blues, yet at the same time possessing a violet-red undertone, Pantone 17-3938 Very Peri displays a spritely, joyous attitude and dynamic presence that encourages courageous creativity and imaginative expression,” she said.

Described as a “dynamic periwinkle blue hue with a vivifying violet-red undertone,” Very Peri shows promise  for a fashion industry that is relying on dopamine dressing to get out of its pandemic funk. Its carefree and joyful attitude “emboldens uninhibited expression and experimentation,” while it “whimsically lends itself to unpredictable color harmonies and spontaneous color statements,” Pantone stated.

The color adapts new qualities on different materials, Pantone noted. It looks futuristic as a metallic and on technical fabrics, but it also suits handcrafted looks and natural fibers.

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Pantone names Very Peri, a newly created shade of blue that evokes joy and creativity, the Color of the Year for 2022.
Very Peri Courtesy

Similar colors have already been splashed onto the runway of millennial-centric brands. Marques Almeida’s Spring/Summer 2022 collection featured variations of purple-blue hues on coats and matching accessories. Acne Studio applied the color to silky button-down shirts, while Isabel Marant used it in iridescent form for day-to-night joggers. The color juxtaposed acid green in Germanier’s line and aqua in Anna Sui’s.

For the beauty and hair category, Pantone said Very Peri makes a novel statement for eyes, nails and hair in a variety of finishes and applications from glittery and glam to matte. It also adds a sense of playfulness to home décor and interior design as a pop color on a painted wall and accent furniture.

Pantone unveiled Very Peri Wednesday night at Artechouse in New York City in an immersive event that incorporated rich textures and images of the color. The firm also teamed with Microsoft to bring the the color to life in across Microsoft products, including custom Teams backgrounds, Windows wallpapers, a new Edge theme, and a PowerPoint template infused with Very Peri.

Despite Very Peri being a brand-new color, trend forecasters and color specialists appear to be on the same wavelength. The color is a close cousin to WGSN and Coloro’s Color of the Year for 2022, Orchid Flower, and their color of the year for 2023, Digital Lavender.

Orchid Flower, a saturated magenta tone, boasts a versatility that works across seasons and products. WGSN states that the color has “intense, hyper-real and energizing quality that stands out in both real-life and digital settings.”

Described as a gender-inclusive color, Digital Lavender “represents a heightened awareness of wellness and virtual escapism, bridging both the digital and physical worlds,” WGSN stated. The color’s restorative properties connect to healing rituals, which are increasingly becoming a part of everyday life as consumers place a stronger focus on physical and mental health coming out of quarantine and social distancing restrictions. It is also already established in the youth and activewear markets.