Friday, November 5, 2010

The Color Association of the United States

Color has the ability to set the mood.  Color can entice hunger, cause relaxation, and even create anxiety.  Color has proven to be the number one way to drive performance and create a positive impact for a company.

The Color Association of the US was founded in 1915.  The association delivers color forecasting knowledge to many industries throughout the world.  Its headquarters in New York City began with the specialty of fashion - specifically textile manufacturers; items like hats, gloves, and hosiery.

While I was visiting the office, we were told of the Childrenswear trend for Spring 2009 - Summer of Love - clothing and accessories receive a 1960s influence with faded pastels and worn fabrics.  As you've seen the 1970s trend soon followed with earthy tones, avocado green, brown, orange, vegetable colors (this has become such a huge trend because of new eco friendly mindset).

Trends in color are spurred by people wanting change.  People get tired of the same colors after a few years.  What colors are you sick of right now?  I've tried to minimize black in my wardrobe and I've turned to gray as my new favorite neutral.

The color trends for men in 2009 were deep red, navy, brown, gray - cotton tweed fabrics - casual every day - down to earth look.  Menswear tends to stay in this earth tone realm because men love earth tones.  To look for the hottest trends look at street wear - what are the young kids wearing?  Also look to NYC - Soho, Lower East Side, Tribeca, and the Meat Packing District.  I see a huge contrast between casual dressing to very dressy and sophisticated.  Recent fashion revivals of the 80s and 60s have influenced everything from leggings, jeans, long over sized blouses, thicker belts, to chunky heels.  Women's fashions have the most color stories aka colorways.

Green is emerging right now and will slowly become more accepted.  Organic cotton is huge with the organic food, fruits, vegetables, cereals movement.  As places like Whole Foods becomes more accepted this changes all other markets as well.  Organic cotton is cotton that hasn't had pesticides so the fabric has a grainy, off tone look.  Colors for 2009 - rock crystal and vegetable gardens.  What has been growing in your garden?  These are the hot colors of today!  Fashion is about mindset.  Political, social, and economic concerns heavily shape and influence fashion.

What are some intimidating colors?  I picture navy, charcoal, black.  I took a social psych class in college where we discussed how certain sports uniform color were banned because they were too intimidating looking.  That's why the basic black became so popular.  It was a quick, simple way to give yourself a sophisticated look in the work place and be taken seriously.

The Color Association of the US has a committee that chooses the color trends.  They get inspiration from museums, travel, moods, streets, and politics.  As Coco Chanel once said, "Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening."  Go outside today and see what speaks to you.  Have a very creative day!

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