Vans Sneaker Color Debate: Pantone Expert Weighs In

Pink and white or teal and gray?

This is the question that has dumbfounded social media over the weekend since a photo of a Vans sneaker from 2017 recirculated online. Social media users are debating over the exact colorway of the sneaker, with some — including Lizzo — seeing gray and teal while others see white and pink.

“While the human eye can see anywhere between eight to 10 million colors, we all see color differently,” explained Laurie Pressman, vice president of the Pantone Color Institute. “Light receptors within the eye transmit messages to the brain, which produces the familiar sensations of color.”

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Pressman explains that objects do not hold color, rather color is the reflection of light on a surface, therefore no two people see color the same way. She also states that computer and phone screens can influence color perception as well as a person’s color sensitivity (e.g., if they’re color blind).

As everyone perceives color differently, Pressman cannot state which colorway is correct. However, all four colors are included in Pantone’s spring 2020 color trend projections.

Social media users, on the other hand, continue to be vocal with their opinions on the Vans sneaker, taking to Twitter to continue the debate.

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