Every year, in early December, the Pantone Color Institute announces the Pantone Color of the Year for the year ahead, resulting consequently in a media frenzy. In 2020, it dropped not one but two colors, which should embody the spirit of 2021: Ultimate Gray (PANTONE 17-5104) and Illuminating (PANTONE 13-0647), a bright yellow. We know that this announcement has a big impact on press and influencers: but does it also have an impact on fashion? Do online users really let these colors influence their shopping preferences? The numbers would suggest so.

We analyzed the browsing and shopping behaviour of 12 million monthly users on Stylight’s international platforms and examined how clicks on various product categories changed after the release of Pantone Colors 2021. Within one month of the 2021 color drop, clicks increased for the following categories in the corresponding colors:

  • Ultimate Gray
    – Cashmere Sweaters +30%
    – Coats +11%
    – Shirts +65%
  • Illuminating
    – Cashmere Sweaters +12%
    – Coats +35%
    – Blazers +43%
Chiara Ferragni wearing the Pantone Colors of 2021
Chiara Ferragni wearing the Pantone Colors of 2021

written by:

Clara Del Genio

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