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Pantone’s 2022 Color of the Year, Very Peri, Embraces Strangeness

Chet Lo spring 2022
Photo: Alessandro Lucioni
Image may contain Clothing Apparel Human Person Pants and Costume
Xüly Bet spring 2022
Photo: Ismaël Moumin
Iris van Herpen haute couture fall 2021 Photo: Courtesy of Iris van Herpen

Can a color predict the future? After the many uncertainties of 2020 and 2021, many are looking for signs from any source. The Pantone Color of the Year 2022 is a new shade, Very Peri, one that, according to Leatrice Eiseman, the executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, and Laurie Pressman, the vice president of the Pantone Color Institute, embraces the uncertainty and cautious optimism of our moment. “It is a color that really places the future ahead in a new light,” said Pressman on a Zoom call earlier this week. “We feel this was the perfect color to get those feelings about the future across.” 

The new shade of periwinkle is a result of almost a year’s worth of research and trend forecasting from the Pantone Color Institute, which begins looking at color trends in the late spring. “We look at so many areas, from sports to fashion, to see what people are talking about,” said Eiseman, emphasizing that increased interest in the metaverse and gaming platforms helped inspire 2022’s Color of the Year. “There is just no question that gaming influenced the continued usage of Very Peri,” Eiseman said as screenshots from video games that use the shade flashed on the screen, “and we really want the Color of the Year to be reflective of what is happening in the world around us.”

Aside from being a tone used in the high-contrast games popular among Gen Z, the shade also has roots in the natural world and in wellness, with lilac, lavender, and periwinkle plants offering a calming sense during a chaotic time. Very Peri also appears in a lot of beauty and fashion trend forecasts—Pantone’s official presentation of the color includes looks from Lanvin, Chet Lo, and Louis Vuitton men’s. 

Still, a warming purple tone might come as a surprise as the shade of 2022 after the more obvious colors Pantone chose for 2021: Ultimate Gray and a shade of yellow called Illuminating. In a release, Pantone explained that 2021’s duo was meant to signify the light at the end of the tunnel after 2020. But as many continue to battle the Omicron variant and the world enters yet another phase of uncertainty … well, can Very Peri save us? If anything, the color offers a new perspective; as my colleague Kiana Murden wrote to me this morning, “At least it’s a new color!” After two years of sameness and struggle, we are all feeling for something new—and the runways reflect this with tenor-shifting brands like like Threeasfour, Iris van Herpen, Xüly Bet, and Tomo Koizumi embracing the color.

Source: Vogue

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