While most of us are still trying to get ahead of the color trends for next year—Night Watch, anyone?—there’s one company who’s taking predicting the future a step further. WGSN, a London-based trend forecasting company, recently put out a color report… for 2020. And if this color palette is any indication, the future looks pretty fabulous.
Following intense research and global travels that took the WGSN team from fashion weeks to graduate shows to conferences on technology and innovation, five colors were chosen. They looked to key people in the cultural industries and tapped into youth culture as well as the economy—in other words, there’s a very detailed science that goes into choosing the 2020 colors of the year, and it takes a village.
Or more specifically, a group led by Color Director Jane Monnington Boddy, who worked in tandem with experts in active, materials, menswear, beauty, lifestyle, and interiors divisions to analyze these sources of information and discuss them at the seasonal Color Week.
“Color week is where we roll our sleeves up and debate all the information [collected], and combine this with our general feeling of where color is going,” explains Boddy. “We also track how colors are evolving, [which] helps visualize how colors adapt and change. For example, the popularity of millennial pink opened the doors for other colors of a similar type.”
The colors in question are versatile, punchy, and especially perfect for warm weather decorating. Encompassing both cool and warm tones, there’s something for everyone. And while each hue is striking on its own, we love pairing them together for a cool new palette.
First up is Neo Mint, which follows the recent mint trend and according to the report is an extension of our pastel obsession spurred by millennial pink. According to Boddy, the optimistic nature of the hue is also a reference to future tech and innovation: “Neo Mint pinpoints the hype around AI (artificial intelligence) and tech that will be the hot topic in 2020. It’s the first ‘AI Olympic Games, where AI will be helping gymnastics judges to score marks as precisely as possible. It will be the year that NASA’s Mars 2020 Rover begins its mission to see if Mars can support microbial life, and perhaps one day be habitable for humans,” she says.
The second cool tone, Purist Blue, is purported to be big in apparel for all ages and genders in the coming years. We’ve actually already seen evidence of this at this year’s AW18 Fashion Week, where a similar shade of pale blue made its way down the runways in droves. And speaking of fashion colors, the WGSN report also predicts Mellow Yellow to be big in 2020 “after emerging for three years as a fashion color.” While we’re already big fans of the sunny hue, the report states that it’s really going to hit peak mass appeal in two years.
Berry-like Cassis is a direct play on both millennial pink and lilac, two of the more popular colors making waves in design recently. Capturing the modernity of purple and the gender-neutral appeal of pink, it’s slated to be especially prevalent in Europe, the United States, and Asia-Pacific.
Finally, Cantaloupe is a perfectly pale orange that’s instantly reminiscent of summer. Set to be big in interiors and fashion, the report states that it’s an example of traditionally feminine motifs crossing over to gender-neutral territory—and according to Boddy, this inclusivity embodied by all five of the colors says a lot about the climate we can hope for in 2020.
“This will be the moment when we look forward more than we look back, and our selection feeds into this progressive mood. Colors are optimistic and versatile, and also highlight color becoming inclusive,” she says. “The days of brights being for youth consumers or pastels being for women are over. It’s time to take a more inclusive approach to color and design your palettes with an awareness of their broader appeal.”
The fresh, upbeat palette seeks to do just that. So while these colors may be intended to represent 2020, excuse us while we start decorating everything in cantaloupe and cassis in hopes of making our homes just a little bit brighter.
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