Bringing it home: The color of the year, Radiant Orchid

If you’re a dedicated follower of fashion, you’re going to be all about Radiant Orchid this season. When a trend-setters such as Pantone Color Institute in New Jersey declares the color of the year, manufacturers fall into line. And Radiant Orchid is its choice for 2014.

Furniture makers, appliance people, bridesmaid dress designers and lipstick mixers scramble to get something made that represents the trend. And what’s in it for Pantone? It creates the standard while companies subscribe to get the formula. Pantone’s 18-3224 looks like a blend of blue and red with a drop of black. In other words, purple, and a tad too mauve-ish, according to some style bloggers.

Although Radiant Orchid might make a fantastic nail polish color, most of us wouldn’t paint an entire room in the hue. But how does Pantone know other people will?

Color futures are complex. Pantone looks at consumer habits to predict the trend while other indus-tries see it coming. If the creative class, such as fashion designers, sees colors in the fuchsia family selling out before other colors, Pantone zeros in on what is emerging.

The color of the year starts with consumers making their choices, then is decided by Pantone as the trend, and then it creates a standard formula for the color. Manufacturers who have not already spotted the trend scramble to jump in.

Sherwin-Williams got purple with its 2014 color of the year, Exclusive Plum, while Gucci was on target with the launch of its Nice Microguccissima leather tote last year.

Lizzie Manganiello, spokeswoman for Keurig coffee brewing systems, said the company works with Pantone throughout the year.

“We don’t know ahead of time what color will be the color of the year, but we look at different emerging color options,” Manganiello said. “Radiant Orchid is just one of 12 colors we offer in our line of coffee makers.”

Radiant Orchid is a captivating purple, said Pantone’s executive director, Leatrice Eiseman, one that draws you in with its beguiling charm.

Petra Tiber, showroom manager at Kravet in Laguna Niguel, adds that time will tell if the color catches on. “It takes over a year to put a fabric collection out,” she said. “Usually a consumer will see the color in magazines and then start asking for it.”

But her clients have already been asking for pinks and raspberries in small doses. “Radiant Orchid is not going to be a mainstream color, but we’ve seen interest in purple for over two years.”

Wayde Louviere of Brunschwig &Fils in the Pacific Designer Center in Los Angeles said Aerin Lauder brilliantly uses splashes of purples in her latest fabric collection.

“A solid purple couch? It’s not gonna happen,” he said. “People love purple, but not that much.”

Another color forecasting cooperative, the Color Marketing Group in Virginia, recommended purple for 2012, two years ahead of Pantone. But now that Pantone has declared it a trend, expect to see much more of the color than you would otherwise.


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