Is yellow the new pink? Gen Z doesn’t seem to think so.
Despite trend setters’ best attempts to market “Gen Z Yellow” to their target audience, the generation’s so-called namesake color doesn’t make a splash — and pales in comparison to “Millennial Pink.”
Laurie Pressman, vice president of the Pantone Color Institute, told the Post that “society imposed” the canary hue on Generation Z, while its pink predecessor “was born organically.”
“[That is] another reason for Gen Z Yellow’s diminishing influence against Millennial Pink,” Pressman said in an email.
Semantics aside, the sunny ombre just isn’t universally charming.
“It may be simple, but frankly, the Gen Z Yellow isn’t the most wearable — I’d go so far as to say it’s intimidating,” trend forecaster Kendall Becker told The Post, which has more than 31,000 followers on TikTok. “The majority of dressers won’t see a bright yellow dress on the rack and go straight up. This shade takes a bit of time to learn how to style.
Meanwhile, Millennial Pink has won over the masses and been embraced in every aspect of life – from fashion trends to restaurant decor – and was even named Pantone’s Color of the Year 2016 under another moniker, “Rose Quartz”.
Gen Z yellow – which bears a similarity to Pantone’s Color of the Year 2021 – was first awarded to the youngest generation in 2017 by the now defunct Man Repeller site. However, experts say the color has yet to grab the masses like the dusty pink hue once did — and still does.
“By 2018, the entire internet will probably look like the inside of a banana,” author Haley Nahman wrote at the time, citing yellow-colored things like mustard bottles as inspiration.
But his forecasts did not resist the pink wave.
TikTok’s obsession with Barbiecore paid homage to the endless obsession with pink, taking inspiration from Margot Robbie in the upcoming “Barbie” movie, Kim Kardashian, Megan Fox and Lizzo, who all flaunted the neon pigment in Instagram shots and on the red carpet.
Even Pantone seems to be marinating in magenta eight years after “Millennial Pink” seeped into the mainstream. Viva Magenta was crowned Color of the Year 2023 by Pantone and is described as “brave and fearless”.
If it seems like everyone thinks pink, it’s true. According to data from French fashion trend forecasting firm Heuritech, pink – along with green and orange – is set to dominate fashion over the next 12 months.
But it wasn’t just that the yellow was drowning in the gum wave, it was “simply less successful” than its pink counterpart, a company spokesperson told the Post.
But Mandy Lee, a fashion forecaster known as @oldloserinbrooklyn online, isn’t convinced. Yellow didn’t exactly “come out,” she said, it never had its moment.
“I haven’t seen yellow making a splash on the catwalks or in mainstream fashion in a significant enough way to agree with yellow becoming more popular than pink,” the content creator told The Post, noting that neither color will necessarily be shunned by Gen Z.
It might be hard to pin a color on Gen Z, whose “individualistic” mindset transcends its style. Forbes dubbed them “brand independent”; When styling, they look for pieces “that match their individual personality and communicate their identity” instead of sticking to what’s in vogue.
If they’re not even true to a label, how can they be defined by a single shade?
“While Millennials sought to come together to create change, Gen Z has a more individualistic style,” Pressman said, “and we live in a time where it’s all about unique identity and self-expression. personalized self.”