Reading, and listening to, Leatrice Eiseman’s carefully chosen words about “what’s next” is like tasting a gourmet dinner. I sense that, no matter the color, there’s something inspirational in the air.

Some times PANTONE is more successful than other times – one way to check it, putting it bluntly, is GAP’s window displays. (The Emerald Green palette in GAP’s windows, a couple of years ago, was a reminder of PANTONE’s power and leadership in colors. At least in the US.)

Looking back at PANTONE’s Color of the year(s), I cannot always reconnect with my own impressions of that era.

Will these colors “fly”?

Spring and winter might work; will the summer reflect the somber colors? Well, colors are not the only substance. In fashion, silhouettes and styling play an important role, not to mention new textiles and textures.


But do these colors have any impact on graphic design?

We’ll live to tell…. Got to think of it, I am a graphic designer, and it’s up to me to challenge myself and others – my clients, that is. Following one “color house’s” visions will not be creative. Having said that, this week, I presented some of the colors to a client, and I was somewhat surprised to learn what the various members of the creative team perceived of as “old” and “new.” The color palette chosen was not what I had predicted in my mind. Graphic design has its own tricks. Somehow, my mind goes to a toned-down version of what I remembered the corporate 80s to be – fading memories, if I may.

Okay, the 2015 color choices from PANTONE are not screaming “look at me!” In terms of fashion, there will be great photo shoots, as always, but … how would, let’s say, a magazine cover, stand out on the news stand? Headlines in one of the C-M-Y-Ks again? Interior designers will have a blast. Who doesn’t “Fall (2015) for a Brick Wall“?



In a video presentation of the colors on PANTONE’s site, Leatrice Eiseman eloquently proclaims: “Juxtaposition of color from opposite sides of the spectrum emphasizes poise and confidence on the runway. The Fall 2015 palette is rooted in multi-faceted, androgynous colors that can be worn to portray effortless sophistication across men’s and women’s fashion; it is the first time we are seeing a truly unisex color palette.”

The inspirational women’s and men’s palettes

There is one major distinction in the colors this season: A grand shift towards an evolving color palette that is not reliant on color distinctions typically assigned to each gender. This Fall, designers look to sartorial styling and fabrics to define both a masculine and feminine interpretation of hues and color combinations.

(Click on images for a larger view. Image will open in new window.)


The importance of neutrals continues to evolve with Desert Sage, a cool and soothing greenish-gray that serves as the ideal neutral across the Fall 2015 palette. Timeless and unobtrusive, yet powerful enough to make a statement on its own, Desert Sage speaks to the feeling of naturally inspired colors that remind us of things that are real and not invented.


Reminiscent of the sky on a gray, overcast day, Stormy Weather is dependable, cool and above all, constant. Implying quality and luxury, it is a powerful blue-gray that is strong, protective and enduring.


Just as the sun comes out after stormy weather to bring us cheer and a glimmer of hope, Oak Buff is a mellow, comforting and warming shade that brings good feelings. One of nature’s many illustrious shades, the golden-yellow Oak Buff acts to nurture and comfort. Combine Desert Sage, Stormy Weather and Oak Buff for a look inspired by the flora and fauna of Fall.


An olive green once thought of as strictly safari or military, Dried Herb is elevated this season to be sophisticated and chic. Closely related to nature, Dried Herb is an organic shade redolent of nature’s earthy fragrances.


Interesting on its own and a wonderful contrast to other hues, Marsala is a winey red-brown that adds finesse and savoir faire to the palette. Rich and robust, Marsala incorporates the warmth and richness of a tastefully fulfilling meal, while its grounding red-brown roots point to a sophisticated, natural earthiness.


A lush and elegant teal, Biscay Bay splashes up against more heated tones with its cool touch, combining the serene qualities of blue with the invigorating aspects of green. This cool and confident tone inspires thoughts of soothing tropical waters, transporting us to a place that is pleasant and inviting.


A nod to the ‘60s and ‘70s, Cadmium Orange evokes a sentiment of optimism, fun and fantasy. Both playful and sophisticated in its appeal, Cadmium Orange is a warm, welcoming and subtly dramatic hue that is striking enough to stand on its own or act as a bold contrast.


A play on the ‘60s with a twist of today, luxurious Cashmere Rose is a tactile and soft pink hue that renders exactly what it promises. Cultivated in its richness, Cashmere Rose displays a gently persuasive and composed pink that is more upscale than downtown. Both men and women can weave Cadmium Orange and Cashmere Rose with Desert Sage for a bold mix of bright, earthy inspiration.


Thoughtful, contemplative and composed, Reflecting Pond is a cooling blue that adds dimension and intrigue to the Top 10. Conveying a message of credibility, Reflecting Pond is a serious shade that speaks to the need for stability and security.


Indicative of our affection for color, Amethyst Orchid is the jewel in the crown of the Fall 2015 palette. Intriguing, vibrant and somewhat sensual, this enigmatic shade is an extraordinary hue that is unique, bold, creative and exciting.

In addition to traditional clothing and styling, Fall 2015 colors are an effortless fit for beauty. Layer Cadmium Orange, Cashmere Rose and Amethyst Orchid for an exotic eye shadow look, or Desert Sage and Oak Buff for a softer, more natural appearance. Add Dried Herb to nearly any combination for a bit more depth and interest.

Biscay Bay provides a sprinkle of coolness to warm undertones or adds a harmonizing and subtle touch to neutrals such as Desert Sage and Dried Herb.

Highlight natural tones with a soft and subtle splash of playful Cashmere Rose and introduce sophisticated Marsala for an appealing and enticing vibe.


The top ten colors for men’s and women’s fashion for Fall 2015

  • PANTONE 18-4214 Stormy Weather
  • PANTONE 16-1144 Oak Buff
  • PANTONE 17-0627 Dried Herb
  • PANTONE 18-1438 Marsala
  • PANTONE 18-4726 Biscay Bay
  • PANTONE 15-1340 Cadmium Orange
  • PANTONE 16-2215 Cashmere Rose
  • PANTONE 16-0110 Desert Sage
  • PANTONE 19-4326 Reflecting Pond
  • PANTONE 17-3628 Amethyst Orchid

Stay tuned, related articles will be posted soon.