On Thursday, Pantone announced its 2024 color of the year: Peach Fuzz. It’s a hue that the company described in a news release as variously “gentle,” “velvety,” “contemporary” and “nurturing.” In other words, a pretty hardworking hue.
The shade was selected by human trend prognosticators who travel around the world surveying fashion and design and otherwise predicting what is next. Peach Fuzz marks the 25th iteration of the program. Will it be the new color of the new year? Some members of the Styles team sat down to play their own game of color association. Let us know what you think in the comments.
VANESSA FRIEDMAN Apparently we can all stop thinking pink (or this year’s color, Viva Magenta) and start thinking peach. So what comes immediately to mind?
JEREMY ALLEN To me, this color evokes more of a midcentury Palm Springs vibe than it does “sanctuary” or even sensuality, as the news release suggests.
JESSICA TESTA There’s something sort of Italian garden party about the color. Or am I just thinking about “Call Me by Your Name”? I’m sorry. Someone had to say it.
ALLEN I was just about to say that there was something innocent about the color, but then again …
FRIEDMAN When I think of peach fuzz — and Peach Fuzz — I think of preadolescents.
CALLIE HOLTERMANN Does the shade remind anyone else of a complexion? Specifically, a light one? That gave me pause, for a moment. I think about how brands like Fenty Beauty have pushed the cosmetics industry to make shade ranges that include women of color, especially those with dark skin. This color, plus the skin connotation of the Peach Fuzz name, hews pretty closely to the shades worn by white people that there are no shortage of.
ALLEN That’s a great point, Callie. The news release also insists that the color “evokes a new modernity” while maintaining a “vintage vibe,” but both explicitly and implicitly it feels steeped in the past.
TESTA It reminds me of a pretty blush color. It reminds me of outdoor afternoon gender-neutral baby showers. It reminds me of sweetness. It’s a bit brighter and sunnier than I might have anticipated. Then again, every year Pantone seems to really lean into the idea that color can set the emotional tone for a year. Like, the world is unceasingly dark and gloomy, so here’s a pastel to cheer everyone up.
FRIEDMAN According to the news release, “Peach Fuzz brings belonging, inspires recalibration and an opportunity for nurturing, conjuring up an air of calm, offering us a space to be, feel and heal and to flourish, whether spending time with others or taking the time to enjoy a moment by ourselves.” In that sense, Pantone is framing the color as an escape from the dark drama we all expect is coming with the next election. To name one looming global event.
HOLTERMANN It seems that Pantone was the one brand collab that the extremely determined marketing folks at “Barbie” couldn’t lock down. Peach Fuzz is less vibrant, and far more orangy, than Barbiecore pink, which is probably the shade that sticks out most to me from the previous year.
FRIEDMAN Interestingly, the predecessor of Peach Fuzz, Viva Magenta, seemed to presage the “Barbie” juggernaut. Pantone got that right. Now we are supposed to be looking forward, so is this “Barbie,” the next generation? “Barbie” mixed with the sand shades of “Dune: Part Two”?
TESTA Don’t forget the new “Mad Max” movie, “Furiosa.”
ALLEN Barbie pink wrung through a millennial pink rinse? Maybe that’s the hope — that it will catch fire the way millennial pink did. It feels like another rediscovered neutral that’s meant to seep its way into every surface of our lives.
FRIEDMAN Or a noncommittal shade. Neither pink nor orange.
ALLEN With social media forcing everyone to pick sides, sling slogans and make sweeping pronouncements, maybe a quiet, neither-here-nor-there color with just a hint of cheekiness (peach emoji, anyone?) is just what we need right now.
TESTA So, 2024: a year not for bold decisions, but for communicating a sort of vague pleasantness.