Colors are more than their appearance — they hold cultural and emotional weight. In many Western cultures, for instance, people tend to associate blue with serenity or sadness, and red with love and passion. Conversely, in many Asian cultures, people often associate blue with immortality and strength, and red with luck and long life. This is why it’s worth noting how a certain color is connotated in different markets and to different audiences when creating collections.
To demonstrate, our trend forecasters zoomed in on one color, orange, in a range of different geographies during the Spring 2022 season.
We’ll be looking at this color to illustrate the importance of color in culture and to aid fashion brands in creating collections personalized to varying cultures and markets.
The color of warmth and joy: Orange in the West
In Western cultures, orange often represents warmth, plenitude, and autumn. It also evokes curiosity, amusement, and creativity, and it looks like consumers in the US and Europe are seeking out these feelings come Spring 2022. It makes some sense considering the heavy presence of orange during FW21 Fashion Month in Europe and the US earlier this year, with brands like Simon Miller, Acne Studios, Roksanda and more featuring the color quite prominently in their collections.
Orange will be a safe bet in these markets, meaning that brands and designers can expect to successfully draw in their customers with this color. In both markets, orange has a medium magnitude, or medium market potential, which is a good sign for the color’s visibility among consumers on social media. We also predict orange to maintain a flat growth rate in the US and Europe compared to Spring 2021, with a -1% and -5% evolution in visibility on social media images, respectively.
Additionally, brands should take into account the color’s peak demand seasons: we’ve determined the optimal launch period for orange will be in Spring and Winter. Finally, and importantly, the consumer segmentation for orange will vary only slightly between the US and Europe. In the US, the color will appeal to mainstream and edgy consumers — when we see this consumer panelling, it typically signals a rebirth of a trend after its rise to popularity, wherein niche brands and edgy consumers put a new twist on an existing trend. In Europe, on the other hand, orange appears to be a universal color, appealing to all three of our consumer segments.
An uplifting color for Spring 2022: Orange in Asia
In Japanese and Chinese cultures, orange signifies good health, courage, and happiness, not a far cry from the Western meanings. And interestingly enough, we forecast that orange will have similar behaviors in China and Japan compared to the US and Europe in Spring 2022. We noticed orange pop up in the recent collections of several designers in China and Japan, from CHENPENG to Rui Zhou to Kenzo.
Compared to Spring 2021, orange will remain steady in China with a small magnitude and the same growth rate as in Europe of -5%. In Japan, the color will be a safe bet with a medium magnitude and a growth rate of +1%.
And just like in Europe, the optimal launch seasons for orange will be in Winter and Spring in both China and Japan. Finally, trendy consumers will be most likely to go for orange products, so brands with this audience base should consider this color for their upcoming Spring collections.
Mother Nature’s color: Orange in South America
Finally, in many South American cultures, orange is tied to nature, representing the Earth and Sun. Spring is indeed the season associated with nature’s rebirth each year, and in 2022, orange will be a safe bet for brands and retailers on the Brazilian market. Brazil-based brands including Agua de Coco, Isolda, and Lane Marinho, for instance, all featured orange in their most recent womenswear collections. Orange will experience a +1% rise in visibility compared to last Spring, maintaining a medium market demand potential. Finally, trendy consumers will most desire this color, particularly during its high seasons of Winter and Spring.
Global color trends: The forecast for orange in Spring 2022
As we can see, orange holds different meanings around the world.
- In Europe and the US, orange is the color of joy and creativity, and it’s a reliable color for designers’ Spring 2022 collections.
- In Asia, notably China and Japan, orange is also a positive color with its connotations of health and happiness. Like in the West, orange will be a safe color to bet on next Spring, and for brands with a trendier audience.
- Finally, in Brazil, orange’s ties to nature and its steady visibility into Spring 2022 confirm that consumers will seek out this color next year.
Indeed, with trend forecasting, brands can get a broader view of the global market to understand which trends will behave in which ways in different markets. Ultimately, this macro understanding leads to more precise collections, reduced overstock, and a closer connection with one’s audience.