The biggest color trends of 2021 are taking a cue from the last tumultuous year and giving people a sense of hope, optimism and the refresh that many are looking for.
The Pantone Color Institute and Shutterstock have released their 2021 color trend predictions over the last two months, choosing bright and soothing colors that take inspiration from natural elements. Pantone revealed in December that Illuminating — a bright yellow hue — and Ultimate Gray are its 2021 Colors of the Year, with both synchronously representing unity, stability and hope.
“It’s aspirational,” said Pantone’s executive director, Leatrice Eiseman. “We’re not there yet, but we’re aiming for that. We’re trying to get there. When the gray clouds disperse, we see the sunshine.”
Other 2021 color trends skew toward bright and eye catching hues such as Pantone’s recent fall 2021 predictions, which include Fire Whirl, a bold red color, Fuchsia Fedora, a vibrant hot pink and Mykonos Blue, a bright blue color inspired by the Aegean Sea.
Here, WWD breaks down the hues that are predicted to be the biggest color trends of 2021. Click through the above gallery to see photos of celebrities and street-style stars wearing the colors.
Pantone Color of 2021: Illuminating
The bright yellow hue is meant to evoke hope and optimism after the tumultuous year. The color goes along with Pantone’s second color of 2021, Ultimate Gray, and is said to represent sunshine coming in as clouds disperse.
Pantone Color of 2021: Ultimate Gray
Pantone’s second color of the year is said to represent dependability, as community and camaraderie became crucial during the pandemic. Paired with Illuminating, the hues convey the message of unity, stability and hope.
Shutterstock’s Color of 2021: Set Sail Champagne
The off-white color is also steeped in hope and optimism. Shutterstock expects the earthy color to be popular because it is a bright and soothing shade.
Shutterstock’s Color of 2021: Fortuna Gold
The rich yellow gold color represents “the chance happenings and happy coincidences found in life’s moments.”
Shutterstock’s Color of 2021: Tidewater Green
The deep teal hue is inspired by the calm of the ocean.
Pantone’s Spring 2021 Color: Marigold
Pantone states Marigold is typically found in the fall, but its rich color evokes a cozy and friendly vibe that will also be sought out in the spring.
Pantone’s Spring 2021 Color: Cerulean
The powdery blue hue is another color that Pantone expects to be big this spring because of its calming nature.
Pantone’s Spring 2021 Color: Rust
The burnt red-orange color is said to have a seasonless appeal. It’s also a favorite of Victoria Beckham and Meghan Markle.
Pantone’s Spring 2021 Color: French Blue
The deep blue shade is linked to the late New York Times photographer Bill Cunningham, and more recently has become a favorite of Kate Middleton. Pantone expects the hue to be popular with people who favor the color and are looking for a new shade.
Pantone’s Spring 2021 Color: Green Ash
The pastel green color goes along with the increasing trend of gardening, hiking and other outdoor activities that have become more popular during the pandemic. Pantone explains the color is restorative and regenerative and relates to nature.
Pantone’s Spring 2021 Color: Burnt Coral
The pink-orange hue is said to evoke a sense of familiarity and comfort, especially because Coral was a recent Pantone Color of the Year. The color also relates to the preservation the coral reef, which has been a concern along Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.
Pantone’s Spring 2021 Color: Mint
Mint is a refreshing and cleansing color, according to Pantone.
Pantone’s Spring 2021 Color: Amethyst Orchid
The bright purple color is one of Pantone’s more unique predictions for spring.
Pantone’s Spring 2021 Color: Raspberry Sorbet
The fuchsia color has both warm and cool properties.
Pantone’s Spring 2021 Color: Inkwell
The deep navy color is said to be solid and very intense and can be used as a great background color.
Pantone’s Spring 2021 Color: Buttercream
The off-white color takes inspiration from the pandemic’s craze of baking at home.
Pantone’s Spring 2021 Color: Desert Mist
The peachy color is a blend of cool and warm hues.
Pantone’s Spring 2021 Color: Willow
The yellow-green shade takes inspiration from nature and greenery.
Pantone’s Fall 2021 Color: Mykonos Blue
Pantone states the bright blue color is “evocative of the Aegean Sea.”
Pantone’s Fall 2021 Color: Leprechaun
The vibrant green color takes inspiration from the leprechauns of Irish folklore.
Pantone’s Fall 2021 Color: Fuchsia Fedora
The hot pink hue is said to be flirtatious and alluring.
Pantone’s Fall 2021 Color: Pale Rosette
A soft pink color, Pantone states Pale Rosette is gentle and romantic.
Pantone’s Fall 2021 Color: Adobe
The warm orange hue features a dark undertone.
Pantone’s Fall 2021 Color: Fire Whirl
Pantone states the color is a “vigorous red with a dynamic presence.”
Pantone’s Fall 2021 Color: Rhodonite
The color is a dark blue-based purple.
Pantone’s Fall 2021 Color: Spring Lake
The mid-tone blue hue is said to be quiet and restful.
Pantone’s Fall 2021 Color: Root Beer
Described as an “herbal brown,” Pantone states the color is symbolic of the root bark of the sassafras tree.
Pantone’s Fall 2021 Color: Coconut Cream
The off-white hue is described as a “thick and rich velvety white.”
Pantone’s Fall 2021 Color: Soybean
The soft yellow color is said to be a “mild and companionable blonde beige.”
Pantone’s Fall 2021 Color: Olive Branch
The sage green color is meant to symbolize growth.
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