With the increased focus on neutral palettes, greige is the next big minimal hue. Blending beige and grey, it's recognisable by its warmer undertone compared to grey, which sits on the colder side.
WGSN's Colour Strategist, Clare Smith, discusses this consumer favourite.
Minimalism remains a key trend in the home
Neutral hues remain a key colour group for consumers looking for versatile hues that are reliable year-round and can be used to bring a sense of refinement each season. Shades of grey have become more nuanced, with an inherent warming quality and depth that shifts them into greige. These shades are gaining momentum because they help to bring a sense of calm, especially in the home.
Whether grey, beige or greige, this aesthetic is appealing mostly to Millennial homeowners who are favouring a neutral, minimalistic aesthetic that is driven by Scandi design. US Pinterest searches for “neutral room aesthetic” and “taupe bedroom” have seen a 20% and 19% increase YoY respectively from 2021 to 2022.
Within fashion, greys, beige and muted palettes evolved from comfort and cosiness, which gained huge appeal during the pandemic as consumers' purchasing decisions dramatically shifted. Moving out of this period, neutrals still remain important, but inspiration goes beyond loungewear.
We’ve seen a rise in enhanced neutrals, with grey and beige continuing to hold one of the highest shares of the colour mix in the S/S 23 catwalks, showing the importance of shades with long-term appeal. We’ve seen designers favour these shades for A/W 22/23, S/S 23 and A/W 23/24 to help bring balance to their palette and for A/W 23/24, there has been a shift back to true greys, which is driven by a renewed interest in tailoring.
Greige reflects current consumer sentiments
Shades of grey reflect the need for balance and slowing down, and the pursuit of ‘just enough’. Beige, grey and greige are all foundational shades that feel grounding. They have a timeless quality that offers transseasonal appeal, aligning with consumers looking for colours with long-term appeal.
These shades can help to bring a sense of calm and balance, and promote virtues of slowing down and reflection. They also connect with sustainable values, as consumers desire products across all industries with long-term appeal.
The future of greige
As 2023 sets to be a challenging trading climate and consumers make more considered purchases as they battle with the cost of living crisis and a shift in spending priorities, these shades will be key for brands and designers looking for colours that can offer their products longevity and versatility.