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Pantone chooses two very different colors to be the colors of the coming year. These two colors are synonymous with energy and positivity to face a year full of uncertainties due to the pandemic.

Pantone has presented its Pantone Illuminating (Pantone 13-0647) and Pantone Ultimate Grey (17-5104) as colors for 2021. This replaces Classic Blue, the color of 2020. These are two very different colors from each other. Their combination according to Pantone is “ambitious, uniting deeper feelings of thoughtfulness with the optimistic promise of a sun-filled day“.  Illuminating is a color reminiscent of the sun, thus bright and cheerful, giving vitality.

On the other hand, Ultimate Grey is synonymous with firmness and represents natural elements that have the ability to stand the test of time. Ultimate Grey is “silent, fostering feelings of composure, firmness and endurance“.

A flash for fashion

Fashion is one of the main channels of expression of Pantone colors of the year. Thus, Illuminating is a color that brings brightness through garments such as scarves, shoes, bags, shawls, blouses. In turn, this combination can be attractive in sportswear, in addition to warm clothing..

Astrid belted draped merino wool midi dress by Ulla Johnson, Jersey + 1 JW Anderson lace-up ribbed wool and cashmere-blend turtleneck by Moncler Genius, Spencer cropped wool-twill blazer by Saint Laurent, Gavina mélange merino wool turtleneck top by Isabel Marant, Estelle mohair-blend sweater by Isabel Marant, Rae draped satin-crepe dress by Alex Perry


Luther suede high boots by Gabriela Hearst, Emilie vegetarian platform Chelsea boots by Stella McCartney, Tess Day mini textured and smooth leather bag by Chloé, The Falabella large vegetarian brushed leather tote bag by Stella McCartney, Fringe gathered leather bag by Bottega Veneta, GG bag Marmont Camera mini quilted leather by Gucci and Diagramme quilted bag by Prada

More luminosity for your skin

In terms of beauty, Illuminating provides “luminous and shimmering hair” when combined with Ultimate Grey in eye makeup. In addition, this mix of warm and cool colors creates a “dramatic statement” on both hair and nails.

Luminescent Eyeshadow – Lion and Le Chrome Luxe Eye Duo – Grand Canal by Chantecaille, Highliner Gel Eye Pencil by Marc Jacobs, Crystal Retinal 10 by Medik8, Gold Shimmer Oil by Omorovicza and De-Stress Mind Bath & Shower Oil Shower Oil by Aromatherapy Associates

Resilience for technology

Technology and gadgets also adapt to the new colors of the year. Thus, the visibility and reflectivity of Illuminating are mixed with  the resistance provided by Ultimate Grey, a very important feature when it comes to technological elements.

Evolve and leather case for iPhone XS Max by Loewe

 Warmth and warmth for your home.

This combination can decorate any room in the home. Its use in table linens, sheets and pillows radiates vitality.  On the other hand, its use in painting can also bring warmth and a sense of welcoming, and combined with Ultimate Grey, gives solidity. Apart from the home, in offices or commercial spaces you can also use this combination.


Accademia Regale in Ecoleather Chair by Aria Home, Frontier Rogue Fringe Cushion by Le Cuona, Diana Table Lamp by Covet House, Valencia Rug by Covet House, BIS Loveseat by Covet House, Raffles Armchair by Eichholt

A message of strength and hope

Thus, this union of colors, according to Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of Pantone Color:

“highlights how different elements come together to express a message of strength and hope that is both enduring and uplifting, conveying the idea that it’s not about one color or one person, it’s about more than one. The marriage of a lasting definitive gray with vibrant Illuminating yellow expresses a message of positivity backed by strengthPractical and rock-solid, yet warm and optimistic, this is a color combination that gives us resilience and hope. We need to feel uplifted and encouraged, this is essential for the human spirit “

The combination of both colors should not be used in equal proportions, but one of them should have priority, whether for clothing, beauty, home furnishings, product design, etc.