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The Official Student News Site of Parkway West High

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The Official Student News Site of Parkway West High

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Stay peachy

2024 Pantone Color of the Year announced
Marking+the+25th+anniversary+of+the+Pantone+Color+of+the+Year%2C+2024%E2%80%99s+color+is+revealed%3A+Peach+Fuzz.
Yein Ahn
Marking the 25th anniversary of the Pantone Color of the Year, 2024’s color is revealed: Peach Fuzz.

On Dec. 7, 2023, Pantone announced the 2024 Color of the Year: Peach Fuzz. Unlike previous bold colors like Viva Magenta (2023) and Very Peri (2022), PANTONE 13-1023 Peach Fuzz is a much softer, pinkish-orange hue. Originating in 1999, Pantone launched the Color of the Year program in an effort to connect the world, express global culture and bring about worldwide discussions through color. 

Pantone chose Peach Fuzz to express the world’s desire for closeness and connection. In the fast-paced modern age of innovations and external achievements, it’s important to take the time to nurture and have the strength to enjoy life. The gentle, comforting pink-orange shade serves as a reminder to take care of ourselves and each other through compassion.

Besides the meaning of Peach Fuzz, the process of selecting the Color of the Year is through a team of color experts that examine color’s recent influence around the world: films, fashion, trends and technology. In a similar manner, senior Neil Dhiman — the founder and president of Fashionistas of Parkway West — runs a space where like-minded fashionistas can discuss, showcase and learn more about color’s effect on fashion. 

“Peach Fuzz is a really warm and luscious color. When I think of Peach Fuzz, I think of beaches, the ocean and warm sand,” Dhiman said. “The role of color in fashion would be to illuminate. [Color] provides the context and depth of fashion. Basically, it provides a general appeal to the mind. Without color, you would not be able to have fashion in itself. There would be no real clothes.”

Already, Peach Fuzz is a rising trend and many celebrities have incorporated Peach Fuzz into their outfits. At this year’s GRAMMYs, rapper and singer Doja Cat wore an eye-catching sheer peach gown. Most recently, actress Brie Larson garnered attention for her stunning peach blush-toned dress at the SAG Awards. Seeing numerous celebrities shine a spotlight on various peach hues, fashion teacher Kristen Naeger thinks that Peach Fuzz is a color that can appeal to anyone.

“We’ve seen a lot of softer tones. [In recent trends,] we’re seeing a lot of muted pinks, purples, oranges and cream colors. If pastels look good on you, [Peach Fuzz] is going to be a great color for you. Even if you enjoy bolder colors, it’s a fairly versatile color,” Naeger said. 

Although bold colors have been the trend in recent years, soft colors like Peach Fuzz were once spotlighted in design. After the end of World War II, the 1950s experienced a global attitude shift to a more optimistic one. This common mindset was expressed through the light, dreamy colors of mint green, baby blues, light pinks and peach tones that dominated culture at the time. Especially in America, as soldiers returned home and started new families, young housewives started wearing pastels to convey youth, warmth and joy. 

“[Peach Fuzz] is a recurring trend that’s been revived. In the ‘50s to ‘70s, all the clothes were in [Peach Fuzz],” Dhiman said. “In modern times, post-2020s, younger generations are adopting this movement called retro-fashion. Especially this year, I would see this color being really common. I definitely think that [Peach Fuzz] is a perfect choice for a color of the year.”

However, as quickly as trends are to bounce back, they are just as quick to leave. This is seen often in the fast fashion industry where clothing styles based on trends become outdated and irrelevant almost instantaneously. In comparison to fashion, a single artwork and artist can continue to hold importance for centuries. For example, Leonardo da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa” has continued to be popular throughout time no matter what the current fads are. So, while momentary color trends, like Peach Fuzz, can be important in fashion, art teacher Ashley Drissell believes the Color of the Year does not play as major of a role in the visual art realm.

“I don’t know how much it means to us [artists] necessarily. [The Color of the Year] is more relevant in fashion where designers can tailor to seasons or trends. I think visual artists have a voice and a mode of expression that’s not as changing or oscillating as a fashion designer’s might be,” Drissell said.

Besides the color’s relevancy in society, Pantone’s selection of Peach Fuzz has stirred controversies about the color resembling caucasian skin. These criticisms about the skin-like connotation originated and spread through social media like TikTok or Facebook, which is where Drissell first learned about the issue. Whether the choice has an underlying meaning, the simple color sparks necessary conversations about politics, representation and racism. 

“Ever since then, I’m like, ‘yeah, you’re not wrong about that.’ I’m not sure how I feel about it. In certain circumstances, it’s tolerable, but in most cases, it’s not,” Drissell said.

But beyond discussions relating to race, the controversy surrounding Peach Fuzz could reverberate throughout various industries. With the recent push for inclusivity in makeup, the selection of Peach Fuzz as the Color of Year raises concerns that it could become a barrier for the makeup community. If companies market using Peach Fuzz, they might inadvertently market towards lighter skin tones, leaving darker shades to remain nonexistent and ignored in the industry.

However, sophomore Faith Kothe believes this connotation is too big of a stretch. Is it reasonable to hold Pantone accountable in the first place or is this peachy-swatch yet another victim of cancel culture?

“People are trying to [put it] into a bad context, [but] I don’t think it’s going to affect anything. If Pantone had chosen a darker color, would it still be the same issue? It’s a huge double standard,” Kothe said.

Despite the concerns Peach Fuzz raises, Dhiman still believes that Peach Fuzz and its intended messages of kindness can build much-needed connections and unity in this world. 

“I think that the current generation is slacking on kindness. However, since the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been a lot of uplifting messages with a group mentality of ‘we are in this together,’ and this has persisted. Kindness is an essential value that will transcend generations,” Dhiman said. 

Drissell also affirms that Peach Fuzz, at its core, serves as a simple reminder of kindness in a world growing cold and colorless. 

“Just by suggesting that [Peach Fuzz] helps people think about or communicate kindness can cause people to contemplate that, and that’s great. It’s important especially in these times when there’s a lot of contention, tension, war and suffering to consider peace, comfort and kindness,” Drissell said. “I think we can find what we seek. I’ve seen a lot of kindness and compassion in this world; we can find compassion and kindness in this world if we seek it.”

A peek into Pantone’s last five Colors of the Year
Color of the Year 2019, Living Coral

2019 saw the selection of Living Coral, a vibrant orange color inspired by coral reefs. With undertones of gold, the energizing coral hue represented 2019’s playful spirit. In the age of social media, Living Coral encouraged and welcomed global connections with an optimistic and joyful mindset.

Color of the Year 2020, Classic Blue

The 2020 Pantone Color of the Year was awarded to the rich and elegant Classic Blue. It was a familiar and traditional blue color and symbolized honesty and an offer of protection from the ever-changing world. Classic Blue represented both the reminder and call for the world’s desire for stability, peace, and resilience.

Color of the Year 2021, Illuminating and Ultimate Gray

2021 was a special year for Pantone as they introduced not just one but two colors for the Color of the Year. The two colors selected were Illuminating, a vibrant yellow, and Ultimate Gray, a solid rock color. While the two colors are vastly different, together they symbolized how different elements can come together to support each other. Illuminating represented hope and positivity compatible with the strength Ultimate Gray gives.

Color of the Year 2022, Very Peri

Very Peri won the position of Color of the Year in 2022. With the perfect blend of blue and red, the bold purple shade represented the combination of creativity and daring confidence. A color not commonly seen or familiar, Very Peri highlighted 2022’s distinct identity and call for uniqueness. 

Color of the Year 2023, Viva Magenta

In 2023, Pantone selected the vibrant color of Viva Magenta rooted in the red color family with hints of pink and purple. Its name deriving from the Latin word for life, Viva Magenta represented 2023’s universal spirit of unrelenting strength and bravery. Perhaps the most unique aspect of this color is the major influence technology played in Pantone’s selection for the first time.

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About the Contributor
Yein Ahn, Staff Writer
Pronouns: she/her Grade: 10 Years on staff: 1 What is your favorite piece of literature? "The Tipping Point" - Malcolm Gladwell. Who is your hero? My dear, dear sister. If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be? Grilled cheese -- cut into triangles of course.
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  • A

    AudriMar 7, 2024 at 1:00 pm

    Great job Yein

    Reply
  • R

    risaMar 4, 2024 at 12:07 pm

    yes i see that info boxxxx
    great story yein!

    Reply
  • L

    Lauren HolcombMar 3, 2024 at 7:12 pm

    congrats on the best of sno! this was a super unique article + def deserved it

    Reply
  • Y

    Yena AhnMar 1, 2024 at 9:30 am

    Amazing writing! Congrats to your first piece! Can’t wait to read more

    Reply
  • S

    SerenaFeb 29, 2024 at 11:21 pm

    SO COOL YEIN

    Reply
  • W

    Will GonsiorFeb 28, 2024 at 10:17 pm

    This is such a fun debut, Yein! Your meticulous word choice and skill for integrating dialogue emphasize the refreshing vibe that Pantone wanted to highlight with their selection. I greatly enjoyed reading this.

    Reply