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Pantone Selects Two Colors of the Year for First Time Ever

Photo: Driely S.

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For the first time ever, Pantone is blending two shades to get its color of the year. That means Pantone's color of the year for 2016 is Rose Quartz and Serenity, also known as baby pink and baby blue in layperson's terms.

Why such sweet colors, and a major change from last year's Pantone pick, the wine-hued marsala? Pantone spells it out like this on its site: "As consumers seek mindfulness and well-being as an antidote to modern day stresses, welcoming colors that psychologically fulfill our yearning for reassurance and security are becoming more prominent. Joined together, Rose Quartz and Serenity demonstrate an inherent balance between a warmer embracing rose tone and the cooler tranquil blue, reflecting connection and wellness as well as a soothing sense of order and peace."

There's a tranquil sunset on Pantone's site with the natural merging of those dusky pink and blue shades. But besides the shades' peaceful connotations, Pantone also alludes to the fact that these two colors are completely gendered, and brings up how gender lines are blurring in fashion. But Fast Company's John Brownlee isn't buying this color pick for 2016 as a radical statement. He writes:

It's pretty obvious what Pantone's trying to get across here. In their own impossibly milquetoast way, they're trying to say it's okay for boys to wear "girl" colors, and girls to wear "boy" colors: they're all just colors. But come on, Pantone. Jaden Smith — one of the most loathsome humans in the world! — is walking around in dresses, and your big message is it's okay for boys to wear pink, and girls to wear blue? Duh. Not only do we already know that, it wasn't even progressive 100 hundred years ago, when the gender signifying colors of boys and girls were totally reversed.