By Cynthia Maxwell, Trend Forecasting

"Tired of Millennial pink? Say hello to Gen Z yellow!”-  A statement Instagram post from Vogue recently.  Hints to me that things are going to be bright this year.

At the end of 2017, I was talking about both the soft and bright color palettes that we would start to see in Spring 18.  Trend research on both the east and west coasts confirmed these palettes/colors. From streetwear to couture there are aquas, lavenders, light blues, bold reds, hazard oranges, yellows and bright blues.

Related: Trend Perspectives by Cynthia Maxwell: An Interesting Look at Exposure and Transparency

Adidas’s spring campaign Adicolor and their apparel/accessory Pharrell Williams Hu Holi collection speaks to both of these palettes in combination!  Bold color combinations, soft and bold color mixes, as well as dyed looks-swirling soft tones together to create a pretty classy tie dye pattern-Adidas is all about color.

I’m kind of in love with how food and color trends intermingle via Origins magazine, Natural Grocers and about zillion foodie Instagram posts.

 Gradient and rainbow color food styling is so the thing right now.  It’s a delight for the eyes, everyone’s eyes, regardless if you eat the subject matter.  Humans love color.

What are some of the strong colors this year? Below are the ones that caught my eye as I strolled through many spring clothing retail sets, food halls and infamous flea markets.

In all categories yellow creates that golden hue of happiness.  A brighter shade in the spring and evolving into gold shades for fall.  So, it is an eye-catching color for apparel and packaging-AND might be our Gen Z color!  I look for this shade to roll right into 2019.

Orange has come on in a big way- and as the Fall/Winter runways have ended, designers showed it worn head-to-toe.  It is the statement color for both seasons. These bolder colors work well with the trending see-through plastic materials used in accessories- like Nike’s Air Vapormax running shoes with its hazard orange see-through sole.  

Spring lavender ranges and deep purples for fall confirm Pantones color of the year Ultra Violet.  The lighter shades are strong in streetwear right now paired with neutrals like black and sand.

Blue shades are trending in food, even though there are few actual blue foods.  Chefs and food stylists are using spirulina and blue algae for natural creations.  Pale blue and aqua shades are a focus in spring apparel and will continue into spring 19 as well.

We are still experiencing influences from the 90’s, and with that neon color is back.  Look for neon shades of acid green, pink, hazard orange and yellow to be used mainly as accents and perfect with the trending plastic materials.

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Finally, let’s not forget millennial pink!  There are many tones of pink at retail now, and all genders, all lifestyles, are wearing pink.  Pink has also impacted food trends as rose’ wines were huge in 2017 and pink liquors have followed suit.   So regardless of Gen Z yellow moving in the mass consumer is finally getting comfortable with pink.

Color creates a positive vibe… #GOODVIBESONLY- is a big deal right now! Seems consumers and designers want to feel and relate an air of better times.  Along with color and in combination with, there are messages of hope and happiness on apparel, packaging and food. All in all, our spring 18 is shaping up to be a colorful happy moment and fall will be more of the same!

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