By Megan McCluskey
December 3, 2015

Color authority Pantone has chosen two different shades to share the title of color of the year for 2016. Dubbed Serenity and Rose Quartz, they are hues of pale blue and pink, respectively, and will be the in colors next year across fashion, makeup and interior design, according to the company.

“Rose Quartz is a persuasive yet gentle tone that conveys compassion and a sense of composure,” said the team of color experts in a statement. “Serenity is weightless and airy, like the expanse of the blue sky above us, bringing feelings of respite and relaxation even in turbulent times.”

The two pastels are much more subdued than some of Pantone’s past picks, such as last year’s Marsala and 2014’s Radiant Orchid. And while the pair may invoke thoughts of conventional baby colors for many, Pantone said that isn’t the aim. Instead, the decision is meant to challenge “traditional perceptions of color association.”

“In many parts of the world we are experiencing a gender blur as it relates to fashion, which has in turn impacted color trends throughout all other areas of design,” said Leatrice Eiseman, Pantone’s executive director. “This more unilateral approach to color is coinciding with societal movements toward gender equality and fluidity, the consumer’s increased comfort with using color as a form of expression, a generation that has less concern about being typecast or judged and an open exchange of digital information that has opened our eyes to different approaches to color usage.”

 

Write to Megan McCluskey at megan.mccluskey@time.com.

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