The Pantone Color Institute has named not one but two colors of the year: PANTONE 17–5104 Ultimate Gray and PANTONE 13–0647 Illuminating. According to Pantone, the selection is “a marriage of color conveying a message of strength and hopefulness that is both enduring and uplifting. Each of them has their own emotional aspect, the gray being the one that’s more supportive and solid, the practical foundation that we need, and the yellow is about hopefulness and sunshine and good cheer.” We examine how Ultimate Gray and Illuminating will be embraced in the fashion industry and beyond.
If nothing else, Ultimate Gray and Illuminating accurately depict the times we live in, providing us with the resilience and steadiness we need to take on 2021. The muted gray selection is the first achromatic shade to be selected for Color of the Year, and it serves as a subtle neutral that pairs well with vivid brights and subdued pastels. Both colors made a major impact on the SS21 runway, visible in the collections of Prada, Jacquemus, Gucci, Balmain, Givenchy, and more.
Category Penetration of Ultimate Gray (L) and Illuminating (R)
Tops and dresses are the two most penetrated categories when it comes to Ultimate Gray and Illuminating. Despite our fervor for gray sweatpants as of late, which was noted as an inspiration for the selection of Ultimate Gray, sweatpants and hoodies came in at a distant №10, with about 5% of activewear appearing on shelves in gray hues.
Ultimate Gray and Illuminating also found its way onto the SS21 runway in beauty looks. Daniela Gregis and Collina Strada featured statement yellow looks, while models at Vivetta wore grey nails for a neutral look.
Denoting fortitude, hope, and unity, the combination of Ultimate Gray and Illuminating also dial into the feeling of continuity that we take from the natural world. Commonly paired with stark whites or warm neutrals, the colors provide our homes with some much-needed positivity.
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