Fashion Friday: Put away the earth tones of winter because Radiant Orchid is the 'color of the year'

CINCINNATI - Pantone 18-3224 Radiant Orchid. It's a big name for a color. But this is not just any color: Radiant Orchid happens to be the "color of the year," as determined by the Pantone Color Institute, a company dedicated to forecasting color trends. 

Pantone is also known for creating a color-matching system that standardizes over 2,000 variations. This gives designers and companies across the globe a common vocabulary for color usage on multiple platforms.

In a press release, Pantone calls Radiant Orchid "surprisingly versatile," in that it can complement an array of other colors such as light yellows, teals and almost any shade of green.

Who decides which hue?

Each year, Pantone holds a small meeting in a rather dull and colorless room. Within 48 hours, representatives from different countries present ideas and have a few debates before narrowing down all 2,000 color variations to just one.

Pantone and its experts use a variety of influential factors. Each year surveys go out to fashion, graphic and product designers as well as retailers. The ask what hues and shades of color are going to be used in the upcoming seasons.Inspiration is also gathered from the entertainment industry, along with films currently in production. Even travel destination sand other socio-economic conditions play a key factor in the decision making process.

"Given the company's insider access--which amounts to a cheat sheet from style leaders--its choice tends to show insight," reported the Wall Street Journal in December.

The executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, Leatrice Eiseman, describes the 2014 hue as, "An invitation to innovation, Radiant Orchid encourages expanded creativity and originality, which is increasingly valued in today’s society."

John Fenno, lead product designer of Nielsen Bainbridge Group  (and husband of this writer) says Pantone truly dominates the color industry--to the degree that consumers might be convinced to try something they might not have considered. 

"It's the way the company positions themselves in the market," With a lighter pastel color such as Radiant Orchid, consumers are willing to experiment with the color-- even if experimenting with color wasn't something they were comfortable with before. Pastels are very trendy right now and this color in particular mixes well with many other colors."

Radiant Orchid in real life

This pinkish-light purple hue can be seen in everything from fashion to home decor in 2014. Here are six great finds from around the Tri-State:

This cute cardigan can be found at Bella on the Avenue for a steal at only $8.00. 318 Fairfield Avenue in Bellevue, Ky.

Beautiful mixed-color scarf from Shop Mama. Price: $28. There are several locations:

  • 7875 Montgomery Road in Kenwood Towne Center
  • 5505A Deerfield Blvd. in Deerfield Towne Center in Mason, Ohio
  • 2665 Edmondson Road in Rookwood Commons
  • Website

Baby Girl Bib from Splendid Things, located at 312 Fairfield Ave. in Bellevue, Ky. Price: $10

Elle sleeveless day dress from TJ Maxx located at Tower Place Mall, downtown Cincinnati. Price: $28

An assortment of home decor items starting at $12.99 in various shades of radiant orchid from Home Goods; located in the Rookwood Pavilion Shopping Center, Norwood.

Locally handmade acai seed earrings. Available at Lou Lou's Boutique: 6145 Bridgetown Rd in Cincinnati. Price: $20

Even Keurig jumped on this trendy color, offering its mini-brewer in Orchid. Available online at Target.  Price: $99

Connect with WCPO contributor Megan Fenno on Twitter @FENNOFashion  and check out her website, FENNOFashion.com . Look for her column each Friday!

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