In January, Sears unveiled $3,000 Kenmore front loading washer dryer sets in Pacific blue and Sedona orange, asking consumers to commit to color in a room where black once seemed daring.
the cocoon colors and Ralph Lauren oversized leather chairs. Now we seem to be moving out of that and starting to get back to the more colorful aspects of life."
The appliance maker rolling the dice on blue and orange signals two things to Eatherton. First, there is a proven market for those colors in particular. Second, Americans have entered a period of color recovery.
Although consumers may not know that copper is out and yellow is in for 2006, hue handicappers at the 1,300 member Color Marketing Group already are considering what colors will rule when the calendar flips to 2007.
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"We have a motto: Color sells, and the right color sells better," says Charles Smith, CMG's president and a Denver interior designer. "There's a lot of money riding on the right color."
The blazing hot palette of citrusy colors that dominated clothing and home furnishings last season is passe for American consumers. We've moved on Nike Air Max 90 Ultra Moire Black/Black/White to earthier browns, coppers and golds, and the clear blues and greens of the sea.
the second part of CMG's April meeting will be devoted to figuring out which colors work for what type of product.
"It's a democratic process," Smith says. "These people are in the business of marketing color, they are color decision makers, and they have to be accurate or they probably won't have a job."
Likewise, she says, as the economy improves, consumers seem to be choosing colors that make them happy rather than worrying about the next owner of their house or car.
up in the paint can in 2007, but they will track from last year's acid green paired with a tangy orange to this year's grassier greens consorting with spicier shades of tangerine and pumpkin, then on to the greens of 2006 that reinterpret teal.
"Sept. 11, 2001, was a real setback for color," Eatherton says. "People started to like Red Air Max 90 On Feet
Big, bold colors have crossed the divide from fashion and furnishings to high ticket items like cars and large appliances, raising the stakes for style gurus who select trendy colors consumers inevitably learn to love.
We're also grooving on metallic finishes and interesting textures.
"They're taking something abstract and turning it into a burnt sienna washer."
That is not to suggest that any dash of color will do on any product. Smith says Nike Air Max 90 Womens Hyper Pink
"So much rides on what color the product or item is, it has to be something that a consumer wants," Smith says. $1.99 for an orange spatula? Maybe. But $250 for a KitchenAid mixer in tangerine? Maybe not. "That's not a price point you'd throw out if you got tired of it."
The professional color choosers will meet again next month in Baltimore, and members will bring portfolios stuffed with fabric swatches, thread samples, paint chips, marking pens, greeting cards and pages torn from magazines. They will huddle in small groups assigned to specific spots on the color wheel to divine which rainbow leads to a pot of cash.
This gives manufacturers a basis for developing product colors that look fresh today but don't fade to avocado in a matter of months.
It's a global guessing game that calls on experts from industries as diverse as automakers and textile designers. But the forecasters, who also consider influences as abstract as the economy and natural disasters, have a good record for plotting trends.
"It is a very abstract process, but it very much translates into real life," says Megan Eatherton, who designs exterior residential color schemes for The Color People in Denver but is not a CMG member.
The colors worked up in the forecasts may not include the exact shade of green that winds Air Max 90 Black And Gold
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