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Barbie movie: despite the social buzz, Hyper Pink as a fashion colour has peaked

Hyper pink clutch on catwalk
Valentino, Paris Fashion Week A/W 22
Jul 09, 2023 By WGSN Insider

Discover why retailers should look beyond the social trend and plan with lighter pink tones for longevity, even though #HyperPink hues are trending on social media.

WGSN Streets
Hyper brights / WGSN Streets

With the upcoming Barbie movie premiere this month, the recently released trailer has triggered another social media surge of pinks. Brands are tapping into the craze with #Barbiecore styling in stores, windows, social content and digital merchandising. However, data from WGSN Fashion indicates that this trend has peaked commercially with it performing below average. 

The evolution of Hyper Pink

WGSN first forecast the Hyper Pink trend in 2018. In 2020, we announced Orchid Flower as the 2022 Colour of the Year. The demand for products has been high ever since, and through WGSN’s data forecast, we saw early indicators that #BarbiePink was gaining traction in all regions.

Hyper Pink items at London Fashion Week S/S 19
WGSN first highlighted Hyper Pink as a trend at the S/S 19 London Fashion Week

In the short term, we expect #HyperPink hues to trend on social deeper into the summer, in line with the release of the Barbie movie on the 21st of July. Google searches show “Barbie pink” gaining interest again. Our Women’s Spring analysis report also notes that mentions of “Barbie pink” on social media grew 21% YoY.

Barbie pink social mentions peaked in 2022
Mentions of Barbie pink peaked on social media in October 2022 and spiked again in April 2023 when the Barbie trailer was released / Source: WGSN, February – April 2023 and 2022

Despite the social buzz, sales momentum slows for Hyper Pink

WGSN e-commerce data shows that Barbie pink products are performing below average. The hyper-bright era is on the wane as a more sombre mood took hold following the post-pandemic euphoria, which saw hyper-brights have their moment.

Koche, Paris Fashion Week Spring/Summer 23
Koche, Paris Fashion Week Spring/Summer 23

At WGSN, we collect and classify product data from major global e-commerce sites, including product descriptions, price, promotions and availability, enabling us to assess the strength of trends over time.

We see that retailers have been increasing the amount of bright pink products this summer by 1pp compared with last year, however more of these products are being discounted than the apparel average, with only 9% of them going out-of-stock at full price (vs a 13% apparel average). Categories where bright pinks are performing are jumpsuits, trousers and sleepwear.

WGSN / Fashion Week Streets
WGSN / Fashion Week Streets

Going forward, retailers should pull back bright pink volumes and take a tactical category and item approach to discounting what they have, in order to protect margins.

With WGSN data, we are able to capture trends ahead of big cultural shifts and consumer conversations such as the Barbie movie, and help figure out the next move for your business. To get a more in-depth pink colour forecast, talk to our team to get full access to WGSN data insights.

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