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'Millennial pink' is really just blush

By ELIZABETH WELLINGTON | Updated: 2017-09-13 08:11

'Millennial pink' is really just blush

To hail the pink, celebrities such as Stella Maxwell, walk the red carpet at this year's Venice Film Festival in Italy. [Photo provided to China Daily]

So millennials are such a special generation they have their own color, eh? They do. And it's called "millennial pink".

In case you've been living under an opaque rock, this old-is-new shade of pinkypink ranges from cotton candy to a more saturated flamingo.

Back in the day, millennial pink was called simply "light pink" or "pastel pink". In more descriptive circles, it's referred to as "rose" or "blush". My mom calls it "Jackie O pink", and I once heard my grandma refer to it as "Chanel pink".

In other words, millennial pink has been around decades longer than millennials.

But thanks to young rappers (Drake), new lipsticks (Kylie Jenner's Kylie Cosmetics), fictional movie edifices (The Grand Budapest Hotel), girl-power tomes (#GirlBoss by Nasty Gal founder Sophia Amoruso), athleisure clothing (just-released Nike Chrome Blush collection), and this summer's must-have wine (rose), marketers seem to have just handed over this historically fashion-forward shade to millennials.

"Millennials are treating it like it's a new color," says Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute. "Those of us who have loved this pink for years and years don't think of it as a new color. ... What I think is happening is that millennials are drawn to the idea of a color that's soft but that isn't super-feminine. Its fluidity is what gives (this shade of pink) a whole new meaning."

It was the Pantone Color Institute that thrust the shy shade into our color consciousness in 2016, when it named Rose Quartz one of the co-colors of the year. A light blue Pantone named Serenity was the other shade. Both hues, according to Pantone, represented a certain gender fluidity driving trends in lifestyle and pop culture beyond "real men wear pink".

And because millennials are the first generation to embrace such a nonbinary way of thinking without much judgment, it makes sense that marketers of clothing and home goods, books and music, and even wine and spirits are ready, willing and able to rename light pink "millennial pink", says Jane Boddy, color director for global trend forecasting firm WGSN.

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