Pantone, best known among designers for their standardized color matching system, has announced the top ten colors for men’s and women’s fashion for Spring 2016!

The list:

  • PANTONE 13-1520 Rose Quartz
  • PANTONE 16-1548 Peach Echo
  • PANTONE 15-3919 Serenity
  • PANTONE 19-4049 Snorkel Blue
  • PANTONE 12-0752 Buttercup
  • PANTONE 13-4810 Limpet Shell
  • PANTONE 16-3905 Lilac Gray
  • PANTONE 17-1564 Fiesta
  • PANTONE 15-1040 Iced Coffee
  • PANTONE 15-0146 Green Flash

Don’t they sound like superheroes? Well, since the Fashion Museum has a Janet Van Dyne memorial wing, I thought I’d showcase these new colors via actual superheroes!

Granted, most of Pantone’s colors do not work well with CMYK or RBG systems (Pantone uses 14 different pigments), so the following is an approximation with little concern for huecolorfulness, chroma, saturation, lightness, and brightness. I’m not a professional, and besides, I’m typing this on a laptop where the color can change just by tilting the screen. Your eyesight may vary. I did copy the hex colors from their HTML, so you can see an approximation. If you’re a hero or villain, you are always welcome to consult with Pantone on your distinct color(s). That’s what the Minions did.

Here are Pantone’s descriptions, paired with a comics character:

A Unisex Palette

Colors this season transcend cultural and gender norms. Vivid brights give way to excitement and optimism, though quiet stability prevails in this season’s palette. For Spring 2016 there are truly no perceivable distinctions in color choices between the men’s and women’s collections, both of which focus on a desire to breathe and reflect, then play.

SaturnGirl Coover
Saturn Girl, by Colleen Coover

The soothing, calming nature of colors in the Spring collections are led by Rose Quartz, a persuasive yet gentle tone that conveys compassion and a sense of composure. Like a serene sunset, flushed cheek or budding flower, Rose Quartz reminds us to reflect on our surroundings during the busy but lighthearted spring and summer months.

dejah thoris lui antonio
Dejah Thoris, by Lui Antonio

The fashion and design communities, and consequently, consumers, have been in love with orange for several seasons. Coming to the fore this Spring is Peach Echo, a shade that emanates friendlier qualities, evoking warmth and accessibility. It is an all-encompassing, tempered companion in the playful orange family.

whoswho-bluebeetle cullins
Blue Beetle by Paris Cullins and Bruce D. Patterson

Weightless and airy, like the expanse of the blue sky above us, Serenity comforts with a calming effect, bringing a feeling of respite even in turbulent times. A transcendent blue, Serenity provides us with a naturally connected sense of space.

A maritime-inspired blue, Snorkel Blue plays in the navy family, but with a happier, more energetic context. The name alone implies a relaxing vacation and encourages escape. It is striking yet still, with lots of activity bursting from its undertones.

X-Men by Jim Lee
X-Men by Jim Lee

While the majority of the Spring/Summer palette trends toward calmness, a few diversions from the theme emerge that offer a contrast. With Buttercupdesigners reveal a shining beacon transporting its wearer to a happier, sunnier place.

Cartoon_Network_WonderTwins09 Zan by Hanna-Barbera
Zan by Hanna-Barbera

A shade of aqua that leans toward the green family, Limpet Shell is clear, clean and defined. Suggestive of clarity and freshness, its crisp and modern influences evoke a deliberate, mindful tranquility.

black orchid dave mckean
Black Orchid by Dave McKean

As in most any season, the need for neutrals arises. Essentially a basic, the subtlety of the lilac undertone in, Lilac Gray, adds a distinctive edge to this classic gray shade.

red tornado ma hunkel by Sheldon Mayer
The Red Tornado by Sheldon Mayer

The high energy Fiesta is a harbinger of excitement, encouraging free-spirited exploration to unknown but welcoming locales. A strong and fiery, yellow-based red, the vivid Fiesta provides a stark contrast to the calming, softer nature of this season’s palette.

Keemia_Alvarado by Javier Pulido
Keemia Alvarado by Javier Pulido

A transitional color that will take us through the seasons, Iced Coffee manifests as another strong neutral for the season. With its natural earthy quality, the softness and subtlety of Iced Coffee creates a stable foundation when combined with the rest of this season’s palette.

Sonny Liew
The Green Turtle by Sonny Liew

Green Flash calls on its wearer to explore, push the envelope and escape the mundane, radiating an openness that combines with the rest of the palette in unexpected but serendipitous ways. The popularity of this brilliant hue is representative of nature’s persistent influence even in urban environments, a trend continuing to inspire designers.