Pantone has selected its Color of the Year. How will it look on shoes?
[Cover: Edhèn Milano and Elisabetta Franchi, s/s 2020]
«A timeless and enduring blue hue, Classic Blue is elegant in its simplicity. Suggestive of the sky at dusk, its reassuring qualities offer the promise of protection, highlighting our desire for a dependable and stable foundation on which to build as we cross the threshold into a new era».
In a world gripped by chaos – social revolts, repressions, climate change, trolling, hate campaigns and polarised opinions – Pantone, one of the greatest international authorities on color, has decided to send out a signal. Blue. Classic Blue.
After years of hybrid, complex tones highlighting change (Greenery in 2017, a mix of yellow and green, “zesty like the first days of spring”; Ultra Violet in 2018, a manifesto of “originality, ingenuity, visionary thinking, experimentation and non-conformity”; Living Coral in 2019, somewhere between red and pink, natural and digital), this year Pantone has opted for stability, with a full color that is neither ambiguous or aggressive, but familiar and reassuring.
In color therapy, blue is the shade that relaxes, transmits peace, favours communication, and stimulates reflection and balance. Qualities that Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute, highlights in the press release accompanying the announcement that Classic Blue is the color of 2020: «it encourages us to look beyond the obvious to expand our thinking; challenging us to think more deeply, increase our perspective and open the flow of communication».
The choice has received some criticism from people who think that Classic Blue is the classic halfway house, a safe choice that keeps everybody happy. And that’s not to mention the people who have more generally been questioning the relevance of the Color of the Year for some time now.
Yet the Pantone Color Institute’s decision is not, however, arbitrary: every year a group of international experts, who are constantly on the hunt for the latest trends in art, design, fashion, graphics and architecture, come together to try to define the spirit of the upcoming year and summarise it in a precise color.
For shoes, as you can see in the gallery below, blue is already featured in the new men’s and women’s spring/summer 2020 collections by Italian brands.