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The Hot Color

There are myriad ways ad specialty companies can capitalize on Pantone’s 2015 color of the year.

The HOT ColorThere are myriad ways ad specialty companies can capitalize on Pantone’s 2015 color of the year.

The results are in: The Pantone Color Institute has officially named marsala its color of the year for 2015, predicting that this rich red-brown hue will continue to gain popularity in high-fashion collections and retail lines alike over the coming months. The trend has moved into the promotional market as well, where suppliers are taking advantage of marsala’s popularity with deep red and red-brown hues in their apparel lines.

The design team at alpha-broder (asi/34063) jumped on the trend early, adding maroon- and burgundy-inspired shades in the company’s fall 2014 North End Sport Blue collection. “We’ll see this color continue to uptrend across all product categories, specifically for fabrics that really bring out the colors’ depth,” says Elson Yeung, alphabroder’s director of private label design and merchandising. “We’ll also be offering rust-colored apparel in our spring 2015 collection.”

While the Pantone announcement indicates greater popularity in the near future for marsala, its related shades have already been selling well in the promotional sphere in recent years. Blue Generation (asi/40653), for example, has long offered burgundy for men and women, and it’s currently one of the supplier’s top 10 best-selling colors. “We offer twill and poplin wovens, polos and fleece hoodies in our deep, rich burgundy,” says President Eric Rubin. “It’s particularly popular in hospitality and restaurants because the dark color looks cleaner longer.”

In addition, marsala is gaining momentum in active lifestyle brands, which often use nature-inspired tones in their garment offerings. “Marsala shades, for example, often turn up in Nevada’s beautiful desert landscapes,” says Yeung.

Vantage Apparel (asi/93390) offers more than 20 different apparel styles in Deep Maroon, which Gina Barreca, director of marketing, says go well with a variety of neutrals, including khaki, stone, gray and denim. “It has a rich, classic look that elevates the appearance of the garment,” she says.

It’s a safe bet that a primary factor behind marsala’s recognition is the color’s versatility; Jackie Whitfield, vice president of merchandising at Trimark Sportswear Group (asi/92122), a division of PCNA, adds that marsala-inspired tones are ideal for a variety of potential end-users. “Not only does the earthy tone add a bit of sophistication to any wardrobe,” she says, “but it’s also flattering against many skin tones. We’ll soon see this hearty, stylish color expand into apparel, bags, footwear and accessories.”