The Student News Site of Chatham University


The Student News Site of Chatham University


The Student News Site of Chatham University


Little Red Riding Vogue: Marsala chosen as Pantone’s Color of the Year


Whether you realize it or not, at the beginning of every year, an important decision is made in the fashion world. It affects clothes, makeup, home goods—you name it. This monumental moment is when Pantone chooses the Color of the Year.

Last year was Radiant Orchid. The year before was Emerald. This year, is the year of Marsala, which Pantone describes as, “a naturally robust and earthy red wine.”

So what exactly is Marsala? It’s not a color you use in your everyday vocabulary, but no doubt you’ve seen it before. Marsala is a passionate red with calming natural tones. Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute, said, “Marsala is a subtly seductive shade, one that draws us in to its embracing warmth.” Still, how many products can you think of that are exactly Marsala? To make this a bit easier to follow—understand that this decision leaves a broad spectrum.

When Pantone announces the Color of the Year, stores scramble to find what they carry in that shade. Usually, it’s not much. They can easily make products to fit that description, but that would take too long, and by the time they have the product out, someone else has already drawn their customer’s attention. The secret is to stretch the color.

When Emerald was announced, suddenly, any shade of green would do. When Radiant Orchid was chosen, people started stocking products in shades of purple. By choosing Marsala, Pantone has given us a year of red.

The color is chosen carefully based on trends seen throughout different markets. Eiseman said of Marsala, “This hearty, yet stylish tone is universally appealing and translates easily to fashion, beauty, industrial design, home furnishings, and interiors.”

However, The Color of the Year, isn’t the only prediction Pantone makes. They also make specific predictions for incoming fashion. Their Fashion Color Report for Spring 2015 was based on the New York Fashion Week from September 4-11, 2014.

Their predictions for colors are soft, cool hues with natural neutrals. For women’s fashion, they expect an eclectic, ethereal mix. For men’s fashion, they call for uncontrived, natural, deep tones.

Knowing this, Marsala is a smart choice for Color of the Year. It’s deep and warm, but soft and natural enough to come across as an almost neutral shade of red. As Eiseman said, it translates well to different products without appearing gaudy or overwhelming.

All hail Marsala until they choose something else for 2016.


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