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Pantone Names Classic Blue 2020 Color of the Year

The year ahead will be colored by chatter and Pantone wants to counter that with a hue that skews more serene.

Announcing its Color of the Year for 2020 Wednesday, Pantone Color Institute gave the title to Classic Blue (Pantone 19-4052) for its sense of peace.

“Instilling calm, confidence and connection, this enduring blue highlights our desire for a dependable and stable foundation on which to build as we cross the threshold into a new era,” the color institute said.

Classic Blue is simple, reassuring, thought-provoking and reminiscent of a dusk sky, according to Pantone—all necessary elements as the fashion industry enters into a period of impeachment proceedings announced Thursday, new tariffs on more countries, plus an election year that could fuel the collective uncertainty.

“We are living in a time that requires trust and faith. It is this kind of constancy and confidence that is expressed by Pantone 19-4052 Classic Blue, a solid and dependable blue hue we can always rely on,” Pantone executive director Leatrice Eiseman said. “Imbued with a deep resonance, Classic Blue provides an anchoring foundation… Classic Blue encourages us to look beyond the obvious to expand our thinking; challenging us to think more deeply, increase our perspective and open the flow of communication.”

For the first time, Pantone opted to convey the Color of the Year through a multisensory approach, which prompts a deeper sense of the hue’s essence.

To bring Classic Blue to life, Pantone partnered with Audio UX to convey the sound of the color as one of nostalgia and comfort. To describe the texture of the color, Pantone partnered with furniture firm The Inside, which says Classic Blue translates to a “soft, velvety texture, further emphasizing the calming quality.” The taste of 2020’s Color of the Year, honed in on through a partnership with fragrance and flavor company Firmenich, “explores the idea of maturing through ripening,” while the scent, which has “notes of sea salt lifted by airy sky” elicits “contemplation and a feeling of optimism for the future.”

“As we all head into a new era, we wanted to challenge ourselves to find inspiration from new sources that not only evolve our Color of the Year platform, but also help our global audiences achieve richer and more rewarding color experiences,” Laurie Pressman, vice president of the Pantone Color Institute said in a statement. “This desire, combined with the emotional properties of PANTONE 19-4052 Classic Blue, motivated us to expand beyond the visual, to bring the 2020 Pantone Color of the Year to life through a multi-sensory experience.”

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After tracking all search data related to blue, global fashion search platform Lyst said Thursday that searches for ‘royal blue’ are currently up 87 percent month over month, and up 17 percent quarter over quarter. Consumers seem most keen for blue dresses, with searches in the category up 61 percent over last month, followed by coats, with searches up 37 percent over the same period.

Pantone Color of the Year Classic Blue