What Does The Colour Pink Mean Now?

In my role as WGSN’s Colour Director, I’ve been asked a lot in the past year about the colour pink. It’s one of the most talked about colours at the moment. One of the main questions that I am asked is- is this a feminist colour?

Jane Monnington Boddy, WGSN Colour Director

Jane Monnington Boddy, WGSN Colour Director


My thoughts: The notion of male and female stereotypes is outdated thanks to Gen Z’s celebration of individuality, this younger generation is wholeheartedly celebrating the fluidly of gender. And, the colour pink sits comfortably within this genderless outlook, pink shouts fun, optimism and playful energy. It’s about happiness and confidence in standing out, without fear.

Here at WGSN we have been tracking how pink has evolved from girlswear to a modern fashion shade since 2011. During the beginning of Céline hitting serious fashion heights, Phoebe Philo put pink into the Céline SS12 Resort collection, this was quite pioneering at the time.

Celine Resort


Also around that time we were looking at the cultural influences of Korea and the rise of K-POP.

SS13 Eastern Pinks prediction2

Pink Colour Meaning Explored

SS13 Eastern Pinks prediction1

SS13 Eastern Pinks prediction

The pinks predicted for 2016 were softer a bit more classic baby pink, and connected nicely to the genderless focus.


Moving forward into 2017, pink is becoming stronger and brighter.

Molly Goddard

Molly Goddard


For WGSN’S SS17 global colour predictions, we included power pink shades such as: Electric Magenta and succulent Dragon Fruit pink. These strong shades have made their impact felt from luxury level at Valentino and Molly Goddard – and this will trickle down to the high street within the early 2017 retail drops (you heard it here first).


The interesting point here is that the tone is styled in a truly fresh sporty way that has real edge- there’s no princess girliness here (i.e forget what you thought about pink it’s had a makeover for a new generation).


A quick chat with Nick Paget, our senior menswear editor, revealed that pink is making its mark on men’s global fashion weeks too. Pink has propelled into the menswear sphere again via the ‘genderless’ debate, brighter pink shades seem less daunting than before. Against the backdrop of JW Anderson’s collections and Jaden Smith’s experiments with traditionally feminine items, pink looks tame.


JW Anderson

JW Anderson

And this isn’t menswear dipping its toe in the rosé-coloured water – there are more than t-shirts on offer, with pants and pants and coats all seen at brands and on the runway. In a happy coincidence, pink works really well with navy, black and grey… so most men can pull it off if they want to, using other pieces they’ll already own.


Moving on into 2017 pink is gaining even more power the catwalks, Christa Kaufmann catwalks editor reveals:
“For S/S 17 we’ve seen an abundance of powerful shades of pink, from soft powder hues to fuchsia, designer use these majestic tones across all categories in head-to-to renditions. For Pre-Fall 17 and A/W 17 bright pinks are combined with opposing hues, such as bright red or purple, providing an eye-catching contemporary update.”


So in a nutshell Pink is pumping up for some serious impact. And to answer the question that I’m so often asked, I don’t think it’s necessarily a feminist colour, I think it’s a confidence colour.
Confidence in showing you’re happy with who you are- free of labels.

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