pantone colour of the year 2016
Photo: Pantone

Every year, the design world hotly anticipates Pantone’s decision for Colour of the Year. And this year, the designers that set the tone for the fashion, beauty and interior design world just couldn’t make up their minds, and decided to pick two colours for the first time ever.

Pantone says it picked the colours to represent a sense of balance and peace, because we live in a world that needs to feel secure and relaxed more than ever. Rose Quartz, a light pink that Pantone says “is a persuasive yet gentle tone that conveys compassion and a sense of composure,” is paired with Serenity, a cool blue colour that, according to Pantone,” comforts with a calming effect, bringing feelings of respite and relaxation even in turbulent times.” They released an announcement video with that idea in mind:

They also chose the pink and blue duality to stick it to gender norms when it comes to design. “In many parts of the world we are experiencing a gender blur as it relates to fashion, which has in turn impacted color trends throughout all other areas of design,” Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, said in a statement. “This more unilateral approach to color is coinciding with societal movements toward gender equality and fluidity.”

Pantone anticipates the colour pairing will work well in fashion, whether on its own or through floral prints and colour blocks, plus beauty products and nail products. When it comes to home design, they recommend a pop of Rose Quartz or Serenity in rugs, upholstery, or paint. But although the colours immediately bring baby showers to mind, Pantone says it’s definitely not the case. “Rose quartz is not baby pink,” Eiseman told the Wall Street Journal. “It doesn’t have that wimpy feel.”

From: Harper’s BAZAAR US