NEW YORK – Enough gloom and doom: There's a prediction from a leading color source that cheerful and sunny yellow will be the influential color of 2009.
Pantone, which provides color standards to design industries, specifically cites "mimosa," a vibrant shade of yellow illustrated by the flowers of some mimosa trees as well as the brunch-favorite cocktail, as its top shade of the new year. In general, Pantone expects the public to embrace many tones of optimistic yellow.
"I think it's just the most wonderful symbolic color of the future," says Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute. "It's invariably connected to warmth, sunshine and cheer — all the good things we're in dire need of right now."
In the spring fashion collections previewed earlier in the fall for retailers and editors, pops of yellow brightened the runways of Carolina Herrera — who called her favorite shade marigold — Badgley Mischka, Zac Posen and Michael Kors, among others. Kors even included a retro yellow polka-dot bikini that clearly harkened back to a more upbeat time.
The fashion world first embraced orange a few years ago and that has evolved into yellow, which had already been gaining popularity in the home market, too.
"People know yellow lightens up the atmosphere," Eiseman says.
Home-goods companies based in Paris and Milan, Italy, have already been heavily influenced by yellow, says Tom Mirabile, vice president of global trends and design at Lifetime Brands, Inc., whose portfolio includes Cuisinart, Farberware and Pfaltzgraff.
It helps that it looks good in florals and has a close association with nature, a driving force in the marketplace right now, and it complements current favorites green and purple. (In 2008, "blue iris," a purple-tinged blue, was color of the year.)
"I'd say you should get used to seeing yellow in places you're not used to seeing it," Eiseman says.