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Featured May 5, 2020 9 min read

The power of color in fashion during uncertain times

Sunny yellows, bold blues and vibrant greens are just some hues that are making splashes into retailers' assortments and promotions.

bold colors

To uplift consumer’s spirits and set the tone for summer ranges, bold colors paired with messages of hope and optimism are recurring themes being promoted. 

In this analysis, we highlight some of this year’s color palette into the key hues to unpack what’s retailing, how color stories are being communicated and what’s ahead for Fall 2020.

bold colors

EDITED’s image recognition software detects the color of every product online so retailers have full visibility of the seasonal hues to invest in. Reach out to a Retail Expert to see our color wheel in action.

Neutrals vs. brights

As retailers look for new ways to connect with their customers during these unprecedented times, many are turning to color stories as a way to create newness with current stock. A number of retailers are focusing on basic neutral color palettes for customers who want a versatile and timeless home dressing wardrobe. 

  • Boden Email Us 14 Apr 2020
    Boden Email Us 14 Apr 2020
  • French Connection Email Uk 20 Apr 2020
    French Connection Email Uk 20 Apr 2020
  • Mint Velvet Email Uk 11 Apr 2020
    Mint Velvet Email Uk 11 Apr 2020
  • Savage X Fenty Email Us 29 Mar 2020
    Savage X Fenty Email Us 29 Mar 2020

Shades of blue 

In light of the pandemic, Pantone’s Color of 2020 has taken on new meaning thanks to its calming and peaceful qualities. While pastel blue tones are moving particularly well in the market, bolder shades have also seen investment. The color is also a classic choice for swimwear with many retailers who have recently dropped bright blue one-pieces.

Recent arrivals

Online communications

  • Banana Republic Email Us 27 Mar 2020
    Banana Republic Email US
    27 Mar 2020
  • Eileen Fisher Email Us 14 Mar 2020
    Eileen Fisher Email US
    14 Mar 2020
  • Esprit Email Uk 21 Mar 2020
    Esprit Email US
    21 Mar 2020
  • Monsoon Email Uk 20 Apr 2020
    Monsoon Email Kk
    20 Apr 2020

Fall 2020 inspiration

  • Halpern Fall 2020
    Halpern Fall 2020
  • Isabel Marant Fall 2020
    Isabel Marant Fall 2020
  • Nina Ricci Fall 2020
    Nina Ricci Fall 2020
  • Roksanda Fall 2020
    Roksanda Fall 2020

Coral crush

2019’s Pantone Color of the Year makes a resurgence into Spring 2020 ranges. The shade has found its way across a variety of product categories spanning underwear, dresses and trousers paired with positive messaging. 

Over the past month, the UK market has invested heavier in this tone, favoring coral for tops such as tank and bandeau styles as well as for layering items, including kimonos and poolside cover ups. Dresses make up 42% of new coral buys in the US, which favors the shade for puff sleeve and off-the-shoulder silhouettes.

Recent arrivals

Online communications

  • Adore Me Us Email 17 Apr 2020
    Adore Me US Email
    17 Apr 2020
  • Banana Republic Us Email 12 Apr 2020
    Banana Republic US Email
    12 Apr 2020
  • Boston Proper Us Email 18 Apr 2020
    Boston Proper US Email
    18 Apr 2020
  • Free People Us Email 15 Apr 2020
    Free People US Email
    15 Apr 2020

Fall 2020 inspiration

  • Carolina Herrera Fall 2020 1
    Carolina Herrera Fall 2020
  • Dion Lee Fall 2020
    Dion Lee Fall 2020
  • Eckhaus Latta Fall 2020
    Eckhaus Latta Fall 2020
  • Roksanda Fall 2020 1
    Roksanda Fall 2020

Sunny yellows 

Shades of yellow ranging from lemon to marigold emerged in customer communications with retailers such as Lulu’s using the hue to boost consumer’s moods during these uncertain times. In the past month, yellow saw the most exposure in new arrivals across tops and dresses in both regions.

Although this shade is traditionally associated with summer, its presence on the Fall Runway combined with pent up demand for vacation wear will give it future longevity, so avoid discounting too heavily.

Recent arrivals

Online communications

  • Aldo Us Email 17 Apr 2020
    Aldo US Email
    17 Apr 2020
  • Lulu S Us Email 12 Apr 2020
    Lulu s US Email
    12 Apr 2020
  • Pinko Uk Email 09 Apr 2020
    Pinko UkKEmail
    09 Apr 2020
  • Thirdlove Us Email 19 Apr 2020
    ThirdLove US Email
    19 Apr 2020

Fall 2020 inspiration

  • Ashish Fall 2020
    Ashish Fall 2020
  • Carolina Herrera Fall 2020 2
    Carolina Herrera Fall 2020
  • Ermanno Scervino Fall 2020
    Ermanno Scervino Fall 2020
  • Sies Marjan Fall 2020
    Sies Marjan Fall 2020

Orange alert

Fast fashion retailers incorporated bold tangerine hues as a standalone color story or mixed with other brights for communications. Orange emerged as a bolder alternative to the influx of neutral loungewear in the market and as a hue synonymous with streetwear, where we can expect this trend to continue post-lockdown. Last year saw Aperol orange feature prominently in Summer 2019 ranges. With customers unable to enjoy a European getaway, the drink and the color will hold significance throughout the year.

Recent arrivals

Online communications

  • Fashion To Figure Us Email 16 Apr 2020
    Fashion To Figure US Email 16 Apr 2020
  • Mint Velvet Uk Email 19 Apr 2020
    Mint Velvet UK Email
    19 Apr 2020
  • Naturalizer Us Email 17 Apr 2020
    Naturalizer US Email
    17 Apr 2020
  • Stradivarius Uk Email 15 Apr 2020
    Stradivarius UK Email
    15 Apr 2020

Fall 2020 inspiration

  • Annakiki Fall 2020
    Annakiki Fall 2020
  • Emilio Pucci Fall 2020
    Emilio Pucci Fall 2020
  • Junko Shimada Fall 2020
    Junko Shimada Fall 2020
  • Off White Fall 2020
    Off-White Fall 2020

Punchy pinks

Pastel pink reigned supreme across new arrivals, shocking pink hues emerged in swim and activewear promotions while fuchsia blazers and two-piece sets brightened up WFH edits.

Recent arrivals

Online communications

  • J.crew Us Email 16 Apr 2020
    J.Crew US Email
    16 Apr 2020
  • K Deer Email Us 10 Apr 2020
    K Deer US Email
    10 Apr 2020
  • Loft Us Email 08 Apr 2020
    Loft US Email
    08 Apr 2020
  • Pacsun Us Email 08 Apr 2020
    Pacsun Us Email
    08 Apr 2020

Fall 2020 inspiration

  • Halpern Fall 2020 1
    Halpern Fall 2020
  • Lutz Huelle Fall 2020
    Lutz Huelle Fall 2020
  • Oscar De La Renta Fall 2020
    Oscar De La Renta Fall 2020
  • Versace Fall 2020
    Versace Fall 2020

Bold Greens

Following on from Jennifer Lopez’s appearance at the Spring 2020 Versace show, green has been a key color on the market. The majority of investment is in dresses, also illustrated in retailers’ communications supported by tropical and floral prints. An essential shade for festive party edits, consider phasing green all-in-ones, co-ords and mini dresses later as well as silky fabrics. 

Recent arrivals

Online communications

  • Anthopologie Us Email 07 Apr 2020
    Anthopologie US Email
    07 Apr 2020
  • Never Fully Dressed Uk Email 19 Apr 2020
    Never Fully Dressed Uk Email 19 Apr 2020
  • Phase Eight Uk Email 14 Apr 2020
    Phase Eight UK Email
    14 Apr 2020
  • Scotch Soda Uk Email 06 Apr 2020
    Scotch Soda UK Email
    06 Apr 2020

Fall 2020 inspiration

  • Kwaidan Editions Fall 2020
    Kwaidan Editions Fall 2020
  • Lacoste Fall 2020
    Lacoste Fall 2020
  • Off White Fall 2020 1
    Off White Fall 2020
  • Tom Ford Fall 2020
    Tom Ford Fall 2020

Red Hot

Dresses made up 38% of new red arrivals in the UK over the past month. It was also the top invested category in the US at 24%, but red was more evenly distributed across product categories such as tops, bottoms and swimwear.

Even in these challenging times, red continues to see success in swimwear. Another staple color for Christmas party edits, dressier products will work later in the year if you need space to manage your inventory.

Recent arrivals

Online communications

  • Hunter Uk Email 20 Apr 2020
    Hunter Uk Email
    20 Apr 2020
  • Express Us Email 19 Apr 2020
    Express US Email
    19 Apr 2020
  • Jigsaw Uk Email 11 Apr 2020
    Jigsaw UK Email
    11 Apr 2020
  • Never Fully Dressed Uk Email 12 Apr 2020
    Never Fully Dressed UK Email 12 Apr 2020

Fall 2020 inspiration

  • Balenciaga Fall 2020
    Balenciaga Fall 2020
  • Mugler Fall 2020
    Mugler Fall 2020
  • Oscar De La Renta Fall 2020 1
    Oscar De La Renta Fall 2020
  • Preen By Thornton Bregazzi Fall 2020
    Preen By Thornton Bregazzi Fall 2020

Despite the uncertainty of the current retail landscape, data can help your business decode wider industry trends so you’re not relying on guesswork. For more data-backed analysis, sign up to our weekly Insider Briefing delivered straight to your inbox.

Contributions by Avery Faigen, Venetia Fryzer and Kayla Marci