China Daily

Focus> Life & Art> Content
Wednesday, September 13, 2017, 18:20
'Millennial pink' is really just blush
By China Daily
Wednesday, September 13, 2017, 18:20 By China Daily

To hail the pink, celebrities such as Stella Maxwell walk the red carpet at this year's Venice Film Festival in Italy. (PHOTO PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY)

So millennials are such a special generation they have their own color, eh? They do. And it's called "millennial pink".

Millennials are treating it like it's a new color

Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director, Pantone Color Institute

In case you've been living under an opaque rock, this old-is-new shade of pinkypink ranges from cotton candy to a more saturated flamingo.

Back in the day, millennial pink was called simply "light pink" or "pastel pink". In more descriptive circles, it's referred to as "rose" or "blush". My mom calls it "Jackie O pink", and I once heard my grandma refer to it as "Chanel pink".

In other words, millennial pink has been around decades longer than millennials.

But thanks to young rappers (Drake), new lipsticks (Kylie Jenner's Kylie Cosmetics), fictional movie edifices (The Grand Budapest Hotel), girl-power tomes (#GirlBoss by Nasty Gal founder Sophia Amoruso), athleisure clothing (just-released Nike Chrome Blush collection), and this summer's must-have wine (rose), marketers seem to have just handed over this historically fashion-forward shade to millennials.

"Millennials are treating it like it's a new color," says Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute. "Those of us who have loved this pink for years and years don't think of it as a new color. ... What I think is happening is that millennials are drawn to the idea of a color that's soft but that isn't super-feminine. Its fluidity is what gives (this shade of pink) a whole new meaning."


It was the Pantone Color Institute that thrust the shy shade into our color consciousness in 2016, when it named Rose Quartz one of the co-colors of the year. A light blue Pantone named Serenity was the other shade. Both hues, according to Pantone, represented a certain gender fluidity driving trends in lifestyle and pop culture beyond "real men wear pink".

And because millennials are the first generation to embrace such a nonbinary way of thinking without much judgment, it makes sense that marketers of clothing and home goods, books and music, and even wine and spirits are ready, willing and able to rename light pink "millennial pink", says Jane Boddy, color director for global trend forecasting firm WGSN.

"The term has become massive," Boddy says. "Millennials have embraced pink, turning it on its head. It's modern and deliriously cool."

A few years before blush went genderless, it was part of the emerging social-media scene as the trademark hue for the blog-making website Tumblr.

New brands seeking fierceness incorporated the sheer shade into their campaigns, like Thinx underwear. Singer Rihanna has an entire millennial pink collection for her Puma Fenty line. First daughter Ivanka Trump wears (and sells) a lot of millennial pink.

"It's all over my Instagram," says Amanda Hill Bokosky, 29, director of public relations at Bloomingdale's in King of Prussia and Willow Grove Park Malls.

"It's in all our advertising campaigns. It's in all of our products, from blazers to sneakers, and we will definitely see it paired with tropical shades and darker neutrals in the fall."

But the key reason she says millennial pink is a thing is that it's really a range of colors - and we know how noncommittal millennials can be, right?

There is nude millennial pink, which is best worn by itself. Dusty and dirty millennial pink, which I like with navy blue. And warm millennial pink, best paired with orange.

There is a millennial pink for every mood and a version of the hue for every season.

Millennials won't be boxed in and labeled, nor will their hue. It's all powerful when you think about it, right?

The whole ridiculous concept leaves me tickled pink.

Tribune News Service 

Share this story

Related news