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How Pantone Makes Those Color Predictions

The following is a guest post from our friends at The Budget Fashionista.

So it’s kind of like the chicken-and-the-egg argument of fashion—which comes first, the color trend or the Pantone declaration of the color trend? Well, we can tell you that Slate recently gave us an inside look at the Pantone color forecasting process, which, believe it or not, takes the form of a secret international panel locked in a drab, colorless room to hash out the merits of black vs., well, black. Or was this a rejected plot from an Austin Powers movie pitch? We’re still not entirely sure if they’re pulling our leg, but we’d consider trading our autographed Betsey Johnson corset for the chance to sit in on that session.

As for the question of whether the color forecasts are accurate, we’d assert that at this point, they’re a self-fulfilling prophecy—though Pantone color gurus compile their lists to reflect color trends in culture, art and the like, it’s gotten to a point that designers look to the “predictions” to determine what hues to use, rather than the other way around. Not that we’re arguing—Pantone’s seasonal color lists are a handy guide for busy fashionistas who want to look fresh and modern without overthinking it. Plus, now that we know, we’ve added being selected for the super-secret Pantone panel to our budget fashion bucket list.

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