RUNWAY: As has become tradition, the Pantone color of the year has been finally revealed. “As we made our choice for  we were reminded that a vital part of living a full life is having the good health, stamina, and strength to enjoy it. That in a world which often emphasizes productivity and external achievements, it’s critical that we also recognize the importance of fostering our inner cells and find moments of respite, creativity, and human connection,” Laurie Pressman, Vice President of the Pantone Color Institute explained over a Zoom meeting in late November. “The color needed to express our desire, to want to be close to those we love, and the joy we get when allowing ourselves to tune into who we are and just savor that moment of quiet time. [It also] needed to be a color that’s warm and welcoming… [and] conveyed a message of compassion and empathy, one that was nurturing, whose cozy sensibility brought people together and elicited a feeling of tactility.”
It’s a big ask for a color to bring humanity together; but for Peach Fuzz, Pantone’s 2024 Color of the Year, that’s exactly what’s at stake.
PANTONE 13-1023 Peach Fuzz, as it’s officially called, is described as a “velvety gentle peach tone, whose all-embracing spirit enriches mind, body, and soul.” A light shade of orange, with an evocative name that immediately recalls human touch (in perhaps a too specifically white skin range), has been chosen to represent the desire of meeting in real life, connecting in person away from technology and touch screens. But of course, the Color of the Year tradition is not an altruistic endeavor, and there are several collaborations planned including those that focus on interior design (wallpaper by Spoonflower and rugs by Ruggable), beauty (with San Francisco-based Shades by Shan), and of course, technology (Motorola cell phones).
“Viva Magenta,” the color of 2023, described as “an unconventional color for an unconventional time,” was chosen because it focused on “our need to feel empowered,” said Pressman at the time. “[It’s a color] that is infusing us with strength that we can courageously and positively and fearlessly embrace a new pathway with confidence.” In a way, that feeling did make its way to the fashion industry, with Sabato De Sarno’s self-assured debut at Gucci, where he introduced the world to Gucci Rosso, a shade not too far away from Viva Magenta. Ditto the reddish looks at Rick Owens which signified the designer “feeling love,” and Nadège Vanhee’s monochromatic looks in the house-coined “Opera Red” at Hermès, which stood for “the friendship between women and the friendship of clothes.”
Pantone’s color fortune-telling can seem like a form of manifestation, a prayer for the year ahead. After a year (or two or three) where everyone’s exhausted from the relentless call to “keep the hustle alive,” all we can do as we look to the new year is to hope for a little empathy and tenderness.