Expect 2018 to be emotional, imaginative and deeply … purple. The Pantone Color Institute recently announced Ultra Violet as its color of the year. According to its experts, the rich hue is emblematic of the unconventional – think musical icons Prince, David Bowie and Jimi Hendrix – and the mystical – think purple-toned lighting in new-age meditation spaces.
“We are living in a time that requires inventiveness and imagination,” says Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute. “From exploring new technologies and the greater galaxy, to artistic expression and spiritual reflection, intuitive Ultra Violet lights the way to what is yet to come.”
Ultra Violet works for just about any style of apparel, and it’s gender-neutral, according to James Andres of S&S Activewear (asi/84358). Vicki Ostrom, trend editor for SanMar (asi/84863), suggests pullovers, full-zip hoodies and T-shirts in the intense hue to appeal to the youth market. “Streetwear brands are showing this color in combination with black, red and white for looks that have an all-important trans-seasonal appeal,” Ostrom says. “As brands catering to this market find success with monthly or even weekly ‘drops’ of fresh merchandise, intense colors [like Ultra Violet] fit the current attitude of their customer.”
Consider targeting universities – like Northwestern or The University of Washington, Andres says. They “have school colors very similar to Ultra Violet and would probably be very interested in using it.”
Other markets where the color might thrive include souvenir shops, concerts and festivals. And don’t neglect the fitness market. “Rich Ultra Violet is also vibrant in patterns that exude energy for performance styles,” Ostrom says. Consider the wave of Instagram users who share “power poses,” wearing racerback tanks to frame their toned bodies, she adds.
When it comes to decorating Ultra Violet apparel, embroidery is a good choice, since it's unlikely to be overpowered by bold base hue. “Logos and graphics can literally stand out, and embroidery threads retain their vibrant color on a strong background,” Ostrom says.