Color Trends: Cognac

Pantone’s cognac – a gorgeously subtle smoky brown that’s reminiscent of milk chocolate – is playing a starring role in fall/winter collections from Givenchy, Emilio Pucci and Louis Vuitton. This updated alternative to basic brown pairs beautifully with the palest pastels, such as yellow, coral and lavender.

“Brown and its fellow rich, earthy tones are trending this fall,” says Kacie Vitucci, principal designer at Timbuk2 (asi/91272). “You can’t go wrong with this classic. It’s down to earth and a superb autumn substitute for black.”

Vitucci points out how effective brown is as a pairing hue. “The key to any great color is pairing it with others and watching them bring out the best in each other,” she says. “The beauty of brown is that it can be used as a strong neutral amongst a diverse palette of colors.”

Vitucci also mentions this color’s tendency to evoke a sense of comfort and coziness: “Brown in all shades always evokes warmth, whether contrasted with a cool blue or complimented by a fiery orange,” she says.