AND HOW IT SUPPORTS THE GROWTH OF THE FASHION INDUSTRY WORLDWIDE
When it comes to forecasting colour trends, designers look to [one] company to help them decide which shades will be popular for the coming seasons.
Pantone is a worldwide business and brand that focuses solely on colour standards, ensuring that each shade has a universal identity around the world and even creating custom colours for branding and design.
So, how does this internationally acclaimed company decide which colours are going to be fashionable in the upcoming seasons?
Twice a year, Pantone gifts the world with a palette of brand-new colours, intended to bring continuity within brands so that there is no confusion over what shade of a certain colour is needed. This is especially useful when trying to create a united brand identity or just trying to stay on trend for the coming season.
These shades are usually chosen in response to current events. For example, the latest colour palette released in October 2019 featured a variety of blue and green shades, almost certainly as a nod to the various environmental issues facing the world right now. They also included a vibrant Baywatch Red in the mix, to celebrate the American show’s 30th anniversary. These act as a useful indicator of what will be fashionable in the following season.
PANTONE COLOUR OF THE YEAR
The new shades are quickly immersed in modern culture but are also seen as a pre-empt to the biggest colour event of the year: the Pantone Colour of the Year announcement. Pantone declares what the shade will be at the end of every year.
The announcement is shrouded in mystery until it is declared via a big marketing push. The decision is made by fashion influencers from all around the world at a meeting in a central location.
It is thought that each forecaster arrives at the meeting with their own mood board, based on an agreed theme. They will have looked at various trend analysis tools, focusing on entertainment, lifestyle, travel, art and fashion throughout the past year and searching for a comfortable progression that will embody the mood of the nation.
The shades are discussed and agreed, before the Colour of the Year is settled upon.
In order to ensure that the Colour of the Year becomes as popular as predicted, Pantone have a clever marketing strategy. They work with companies in the public domain, creating products and brand identities using their custom shade.
The Colour of the Year is often already in public consciousness before it has even been announced, so that consumers can accept the trend with ease. Once the shade has been declared, it is suddenly everywhere.
DOES PANTONE PREDICT OR DICTATE?
The clever marketing around the Colour of the Year and shades of each season seems to suggest that there is little forecasting involved in the colour selection.
By working with influential brands, Pantone is almost able to dictate what colours we will be wearing in the following season. However, the fashion industry relies on this information to ensure they are able to create clear trends and stay relevant in the current climate.
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