Millennial pink — which is actually a range of hues — reflects modern views on color and gender.
So millennials are such a special generation that they have their own color, eh?
They do. And it’s called “millennial pink.”
The old-is-new shade of pinky-pink ranges from cotton candy to a more saturated flamingo.
Back in the day, millennial pink was called simply “light pink” or “pastel pink.” In more descriptive circles, it’s referred to as “rose” or “blush.” Or perhaps “Jackie O. pink” or “Chanel pink.”
In other words, millennial pink has been around decades longer than millennials.
But thanks to young rappers (Drake), new cosmetics lines (Kylie Jenner’s Kylie Cosmetics; Glossier), fictional movie edifices (“The Grand Budapest Hotel”), girl-power tomes (“#GirlBoss” by Nasty Gal founder Sophia Amoruso), athleisure clothing (the new Nike Chrome Blush collection), and this summer’s must-have wine (rosé), marketers seem to have handed over this historically fashion-forward shade to millennials.
“What I think is happening is that millennials are drawn to the idea of a color that’s soft but that isn’t super-feminine,” says Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute. “Its fluidity is what gives [this shade of pink] a whole new meaning.”
It was Pantone that thrust the shade into our color consciousness in 2016, when it named Rose Quartz one of the co-colors of the year. A light blue named Serenity was the other shade. Both hues, Pantone says, represented a gender fluidity driving trends in pop culture and on social media.
And because millennials are the first generation to embrace such a nonbinary way of thinking, it makes sense that marketers of clothing and home goods, books and music, and even wine and spirits are ready and willing to rename light pink “millennial pink,” says Jane Boddy, color director for global trend forecasting firm WGSN.
“The term has become massive,” Boddy says. “Millennials have embraced pink, turning it on its head. It’s modern and deliriously cool.”
“It’s all over my Instagram,” says Amanda Hill Bokosky, 29, director of public relations at two Bloomingdale’s stores near Philadelphia. She recently married in a blush — er, millennial pink — fishtail gown.
“It’s in all our advertising campaigns, it’s in all of our products, from blazers to sneakers, and we will definitely see it paired with tropical shades and darker neutrals in the fall,” Bokosky says.
But the key reason she says millennial pink is a thing is that it’s really a range of colors — and we know how noncommittal millennials can be, right?
There is nude millennial pink, which is best worn by itself. Dusty and dirty millennial pink, which pops with navy blue. Warm millennial pink, best paired with orange.
There is a millennial pink for every mood and a version of the hue for every season. Millennials won’t be boxed in — nor will their hue.