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CORPORATE LICENSING

Pantones Colors Fashion, Décor Pink and Blue

If a color—or two—can reflect the mood of a people, it could be that we’re all just lightening up. Color house Pantone has for the first time named a blending of two shades, Rose Quartz (Pantone 13-1520) and Serenity (Pantone 15-3919), as its Color of the Year for 2016. The positively pastel pink-blue combo stands in stark contrast to the hue of 2015: Marsala, a dark, earthy red-brown.

Pantone’s annual Color of the Year choice is closely watched by the design and fashion industries as the tipoff to a trend that usually spreads through home décor, fashion and design for several years, reports The Wall Street Journal. Pantone licensee Sephora, for example, continues to merchandise Marsala and 2014’s Color of the Year, Radiant Orchid. The Color of the Year unveiling also tends to unleash a cascade of announcements from retailers revealing their own products in the colors.

Certainly, Pantone’s array of licensees will support the color(s). In addition to Sephora, those include Lowe’s Home Improvement and Valspar Paint; bridal and formalwear maker Dessy Group; area rug maker Oriental Weavers; home goods marketer Room Copenhagen; Case Scenario (mobile accessories); and numerous makers of industrial coatings, inks and textiles.

To determine the Color of the Year, Pantone surveys designers, manufacturers and retailers on what colors they plan to use—the pastel colors have been seen on runways for months, the Journal notes—then anoint a hue that essentially already has broad support. The company brings some marketing partners and licensees in early so that they can produce products, such as Sephora cosmetics.

At the time of the Color of the Year announcement last week, Jostens had already prepared a yearbook designer’s guide to using the Pantone Color of the Year complete with pairings using the Jostens color palettes.

When joined together, Pantone says, Rose Quartz and Serenity “demonstrate an inherent balance between a warmer embracing rose tone and the cooler tranquil blue, reflecting connection and wellness as well as a soothing sense of order and peace,” as well as a blurring of gender in fashion. Two sides of the same coin? Perhaps. But definitely two sides of the same mug: Pantone already is offering Rose Quartz and Serenity on opposite sides of one of its popular china mugs.

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