No one owns all the colors in the world but Pantone comes pretty close. Every designer uses Pantone swatches to match colors as accurately as possible. The Pantone Color Guide (color swatches bound into small “fan decks”) is an industry standard, a bible some say. And now Pantone and all its shades of colors can slip into your skinny pants pocket. CAPSURE is Pantone’s lightweight (6 oz. w/battery) portable device that can scan any surface, material or fabric and find its true Pantone color ($649).
Yes, Pantone can match colors in real-time but is it really a trendsetter? Every year since 2000, the company has announced a “Color of the Year” just before the New Year. (Emerald 17-5641 is it for 2013.) Atelier legend has it that Pantone hosts a secret meeting of designers to get their input and then publishes the results of the meeting in Pantone View ($750), the company organ. Or maybe Pantone just sends somebody to the fall shows of superstar designers like Zac Posen, Nanette Lepore and Emma Hill (for Mulberry), where they flooded their Spring 2013 collections with emerald-hued ensembles. Maybe that’s the secret meeting. Kate Middleton isn’t reading Pantone View but you know she has Mulberry’s Hill on speed-dial. Pantone Color Institute Executive Director Leatrice Eiseman points out that “the human eye sees more green than any other color in the spectrum.” Perhaps especially in fashion, where envy is a prime driver. Pantone anyway, which was bought for $180m in 2007 (Year of Chili Pepper Red!), is certainly seeing more green these days than red.