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Meet The Secret Powerbroker Who Decides The Color Of The Year
Every season, the expert colorists at the Pantone Institute release the ten top colors for fashion, home decor, and industrial design. And then every winter they decide on the official Color of the Year. If you ever wondered how and why, and WHO has the power to make such a near-papal pronouncement, meet Leatrice Eiseman, and find out how zeitgeist comes to life in living color.
Excerpt: "So why does Eiseman get to make this decision?
She's recognized by those in the fashion and marketing communities as an American color specialist, and has authored eight books on the subject of color and consumerism. After graduating from Antioch University and UCLA with degrees in psychology and counseling, Eiseman put her skills as a color consultant to work for major brands like IKEA, Best Buy, and Microsoft.
Eiseman doesn't make the Color of the Year decision alone: Pantone has a committee of color experts searching for the next big thing year-round, and hosts international 'colorists' biannually in a pre-planned European city to discuss dominant hues for each season.
Even so, she's the most influential person in the room.
She gave us a little insight into how she helps make the decision.
'It's hard to explain to anyone how you really arrive at the specific color,' Eiseman explains. 'But it's picking up nuggets of information wherever you travel — and I travel all over the world. If I see that a color is coming into prominence (for instance, if I'm in Asia and I see the same color in Italy and Germany), then I would say that color is on the rise and starts to have a collective impulse.'
She and her team also do research on trends in related industries, like high-end jewelry and show business.
'We knew that greens have been big in the last few years, and people are still very much attracted to green and the message that it gives: the whole idea of being connected to the environment, unity, elegance, rejuvenation, and clarity. The color green stands for all of these things, and is universally appealing.'