Millennial pink is the flavour of the season

By: | Updated: August 20, 2017 4:53 AM

The term has been coined for a desaturated variation of the hue that has popped up quite literally everywhere, from fashion to interiors, food to make-up.

The name ‘millennial pink’ was coined to describe a muted shade of the colour—somewhere between beige and blush.

Can a colour define a generation? That’s the argument surrounding the unstoppable popularity of millennial pink. Have you heard of millennial pink yet? The term has been coined for a desaturated variation of the hue that has popped up quite literally everywhere, from fashion to interiors, food to make-up. The name ‘millennial pink’ was coined to describe a muted shade of the colour—somewhere between beige and blush. The colour is also known as Scandi pink, rose quartz and Tumblr pink. It is the colour of the moment, which is a soft, muted shade of pink with the blue notes taken out. It is a far cry from the insipidly girly Barbie pink that previously dominated products for women. This particular pink pervades the senses, as it continues to sell products from personal care to houseware, and the trend doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. Today, people are tipping buckets of millennial pink over everything they can get their hands on. But where did it come from? Some might argue that it first appeared in Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel in 2014 and since then there has been no stopping.

Some may say the fascination with this shade has to do with the renewed infatuation with rosé in recent years. Millennial pink is said to have started because of the social media platform, Tumblr. During the summer of 2016, this ubiquitous pink rose to the height of its popularity and has continued to hold its status.There are others who peg it to the more massively appealing release of Apple’s iPhone 6S in rose gold. Whatever be the reason, the trend can be easily traced back to 2016, when the more warm-hued Rose Quartz was one of Pantone’s two colours of the year.

And now millennial pink is all over the place. The dusty rose hue is Instagram’s shade du jour and is the latest cultural phenomenon to emerge. It is as baffling as it is seductive. There is a millennial pink gin, which balances the taste of gin with the sweetness of strawberries and raspberries, serving up a summery flavour, which is aesthetically pleasing. There’s a retro feel to the pale and dusty hue. The saccharine colour also took menswear by storm on the spring and fall 2016 runways, showing just how gender-neutral pink can actually be. It has also become the most sought-after colour in furniture design, as this year’s Milan design week revealed.

With other design trends thin on the ground during Milan design week in April, millennial pink somehow managed to become one of the most noticeable crazes. Not only was it showcased by popular brands, including Moroso, Muuto and Normann Copenhagen, it was even featured on the event’s most Instagrammed installation, Marc Ange’s Le Refuge. In January this year, at the Paris Fashion Week, nearly every designer included a baby pink piece in their collections such as Chanel’s pink tweed suit. Designers feel that the colour is pleasing to the eye and has an air of wonder to it. One of the main reasons for the colour’s popularity is that—unlike more vibrant shades of pink—it is free from girly-girl associations, so it appeals to men, as well as women.

Fashionistas feel that millennial pink is more grounded, less candy-sweet and a bit nostalgic. It is shown in both men’s and women’s fashion runway shows, art installations, product launches, as well as a range of marketing and branding launches. Food is fashion, and fashion is food, and that’s why pink food is now the in thing. In April, Starbucks officially added ‘Pink Drink’ to its year-round menu. Last week, the Internet went agog over an attractively bottled pink gin (Wolffer Estate Vineyard makes it with rose). Girly brands such as Sprinkles Cupcakes, which used the colour for its cupcake ATMs, and Sofia petite canned wines have long known its appeal.

Pinterest reveals millennial pink as the most searched back-to-work term (up 100% since last year) in its 2017 Back-to-School study. In May, actress Zoë Kravitz wore an off-the-shoulder Oscar de la Renta dress in millennial pink to the Met Gala, resulting in 1,800 social mentions, as per Brandwatch. Two months back, Nike introduced a 23-piece sportswear collection called Chrome Blush.

Photos of pink lakes became popular on Instagram in June, spurring Australia’s tourism group to create a Web page dedicated to its Pink Lake. In July, Kylie Jenner’s popular make-up brand Kylie Cosmetics, which boasts 13.9 million followers on Instagram, showcased a millennial pink collection on Instagram. Nielsen has found that the sales of rosé are growing at rates “unheard of” compared to other categories of wine. In April alone, the $207-million category grew by 70%.

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