Color trends come and go. That's what trends are, a change in the general direction of an idea or concept. In fashion, trends inform everything; they reflect what consumers are buying, what designers think their customers want, and how society at large, wants to look at a particular moment.
Thankfully, companies like WGSN use a combination of social science, deep insight and instinct to predict trends up to 24 months before they enter the retail space. It's like a crystal ball, but for garms, and we've gazed into it before.
Let's look back at our previous trend report on SS18's big color: frozen yellow. The neon-electric shade that was emulsified by YEEZY and Ye's Calabasas line was a big hit, and it's basically everywhere. Since our initial report, frozen yellow has cropped up at Y-3, on Nike's Air Vapormax Moc 2 x ACRONYM sneakers and throughout Balenciaga's SS18 collection. We also saw it pop up across countless #snobshots and street style posts.
Now we look ahead again, with help from WGSN's color director Jane Monnington Boddy, to predict what's going to pop for SS20. WGSN's clients range from activewear giants and car companies to some of the world's leading retailers, and they're saying that the next big trend will be "a shade that succinctly aligns futuristic development with nature."
It's called Neo Mint and here's why it's going to be a big deal in 12/16 months time.
It's futuristic AF
It can't be denied that 2020 sounds like a time that previous generations imagined with teleportation pods, flying vehicles and robots performing manual labor. It's only fitting that the color trend for this season should reflect futuristic ideals too.
"For years, we’ve been imagining life in 2020, and now the worlds of technology and science are turning these dreams into reality," says Boddy. But what's scheduled to happen in 2020 that makes it so futuristic?
"It’s the first ‘AI Olympic Games,' where AI will be helping gymnastics judges to score marks as precisely as possibl,e" says Boddy, "the world’s tallest building - the neo-futuristic Jeddah Tower in Saudi Arabia - will be completed, standing 1km high, NASA’s Mars 2020 Rover will begin its mission to see if Mars can support microbial life and in Los Angeles and Dallas, 2020 could also see Uber introducing ‘flying taxis.'"
So maybe flying cars isn't so unbelievable after all. "The buzz around these futuristic times will drive a trend towards colors that capture this sensibility. As we near 2020, we will see the clean, pure tone Neo Mint as the color of choice."
Above, we can see a preliminary example of Neo Mint popping up in Korean Brand 99%IS's latest drop, in the form of a a heavily customized leather jacket.
It's the perfect balance between nature and tech
"When it comes to a color for 2020, Neo Mint is an oxygenating, fresh tone that aligns science and technology with nature," says Boddy. Why would this work for fashion though?
Recently, there's been a huge pop culture reinvestment in popular ’70s genre cyberpunk i,e, a sci-fi genre that warns against the power of technology and AI to overpower humanity. It was exemplified by the popularity of the recent 2017 sequel to Blade Runner and more recently, a fashionable infatuation with the cool and hacker-esque aesthetics of The Matrix.
In a similar way, 2020 could adapt the aesthetics of biopunk, the subgenre (and cyberpunk's cousin), that mixed nature and biology with futuristic technology, biohacking and transhumanism. Do you remember the atmosphere set by Gucci's creepy hospital room that brought in both baby dragons and severed heads? That's Neo Mint and it's the kind of modern fantasy vibe that could be continued into SS20.
The glowing shade of green suggested by WSGN could easily represent our push for good health but also leans into our fear of toxic substances, nuclear radiation and sickness. Similar to frozen yellow, which at the same time suggested both feelings of happiness and alarm, Neo Mint will strike a balance between our desire for wellness but also for new, unknowable and possibly dangerous technology.
Preview it above at Prada's most recent womenswear show.
It's gender neutral
Prior to a twitter shit-show that endorsed Donald Trump and spawned think-pieces all over the internet, Kanye West tweeted "style is gender neutral" and in this instance, he was right - it is.
Gender-neutral fashion has been embraced by many designers, notably Berlin-based brand GmbH, as a way of liberating themselves from the, arguably limiting, delineations of "menswear" and "womenswear." If 2020 is to adapt Neo Mint as its color palette of choice you can expect it to be popping up across all lines as fashion becomes more unified. "From a fashion perspective, Neo Mint embodies the drive towards tones that have gender-neutral appeal," says Boddy, "which by 2020 will have moved on from the more feminine hues."
Above we can see another preview of the trend as pioneered by Stone Island's SS18 campaign and Pretty Flacko - being ahead of the curve as usual - with a Neo Mint jacket.
Unfamiliar and refreshing (it is mint, after all), this pastel tint could be the color that unifies tech and nature together, and eventually, come SS20, be the next colorway on the future's sneakers, garments and maybe, even their flying Ubers.
What do you think, will Neo Mint be the color of the future? Are you seeing it anywhere already? Let us know in the comments.