Color Watch - Primary Purpose

Hot Colors This Season Are Leaning Toward Traditional Primary Looks

Primary PurposeDuring 2013 Fashion Week, the list of designers featuring ensembles consisting wholly of primary colors was extensive, including Michael Kors, Gucci and Versace, to name a few. As a result, red, blue and/or yellow apparel will figure prominently in popular retail fashions this season.

"Color combinations like these are eye-catching, especially when combined with trendy designs that alone grab interest," says Nancy Robitaille, apparel and headwear designer for Fersten Worldwide Inc. (asi/53974).

She suggests implementing this color trend into promotions that make one think of industries suggested by the hue – for instance, red's association with food service or blue's association with the health industry. "Tie the garment colors into an advertising campaign for a subtle marketing reference," Robitaille says. "People tend to remember a promotion more when colors are reinforced in combination with the promotion."

Joel Freet, national sales manager for Cutter & Buck (asi/47965), is another fan of this trend. "Using solid bright colors is a great way to build brand recognition, especially when they are in fashion," he says. He sees the trend as having notable staying power, making it particularly effective for longer-term promotions. "All consumer-facing industries that have promotional needs can consider a program in the coming year that incorporates a singular, bright color," he says. "One idea is to wrap the entire campaign in one selected primary color and create a theme that supports it."

The primary color trend also works great because it can be applied to such a wide demographic. "Primary colors have universal appeal," says Kevin Miles, strategic planner for Alternative Apparel (asi/34850). "Promotional wear featuring these colors will appeal to a broad segment, and each piece individually will thus get more repeat wears. This translates into increased exposure and a better return for the customer."

These colors are ideal for logos and other forms of branding, and Robitaille urges distributors and their clients to keep colors consistent between logo and apparel. "To create an effective promotional tool and a fashion-forward look, the color combination should match the company logo colors," she says. "Customers and staff will be excited about wearing the garments, therefore extending the products' exposure time."