Peace out, Millennial Pink. Color authority Pantone announced its Color of the Year for 2018 today, and it’s Ultra Violet, an intensely pigmented, blue-toned shade of purple that has us thinking of Prince, Purple Haze, and passion. Get ready to see it everywhere, from cosmetics to home goods to product packaging.
“Purple is a complex color. We’re in a complex time; this is a complex color,” Pantone executive director Lee Eiseman told Fast Company. “This is the kind of color attached, historically, to originality, ingenuity, and visionary thinking. These are the elements we need to create a meaningful future. Inventiveness and imagination is something we seek in our personal lives and business worlds. People are looking for that ‘magic bullet,’ and this shade is the perfect shade to lead right into it . . . It’s intriguing, fascinating, and magical.”
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Pantone colors typically both reflect and are reflected by the worlds of fashion and design. A color is chosen because Pantone execs notice it popping up, but once it’s named Color of the Year, that tends to send the demand for it into overdrive. “You start to notice certain colors getting more attention in the fashion field,” Eiseman told Glamour in a 2014 interview. “Fashion’s definitely a large part of it, [but] we also have to justify naming a color by seeing it in other places as well. We look at new films coming up … We look at upcoming cars, [because] when you talk about technology, you have to look at the finishes on cars because they are light-years ahead in the technology they use to create those colors.”
Last year’s color was Greenery, a bright, yellow-green hue reminiscent of the outdoors, that made appearances on the runway at Gucci, Kenzo, and Balenciaga, but may have been eclipsed slightly by the lasting popularity of 2016’s color of the year, Rose Quartz. The pale pink color remains seemingly everywhere, from Glossier bottles to Acne bags to book covers. Basically, if it’s a product marketed towards women between the ages of 25 and 35, it’s probably some variation of Rose Quartz.
But, as Eiseman notes, we’re living in a very different world than we were even a year ago, especially as women. And while pink and green are certainly pretty, it’s purple that has the power.