Peach Fuzz: Why we need Pantone's colour of the year 2024

Shades of peach, from apricot to persimmon, symbolise warmth, safety and peace

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Every year for the past quarter century, Pantone has announced its colour for the coming year. For 2024, it's peach fuzz, a warm, enveloping shade of apricot.

Officially named Pantone 13-1023 Peach Fuzz, the inviting shade of peach is described as gentle, velvety and subtly sensual. Chosen for its ability to stir feelings of tenderness, peace and compassion, it aims to soothe a troubled world.

More than only naming a buzzword colour, Pantone tasks its experts with analysing cinema, fashion, art, design, travel and technology to distill the hues that carry the most influence. These are refined further via colour psychology research and forecasting tools, until only one remains that best encapsulates society's mood.

For example, this year's selection was an exuberant shade of hot pink called Viva Magenta that showcased the upbeat optimism of a world emerging from a pandemic. It oversaw the Barbiecore craze and, for a hot summery minute, it was like the world had turned this gregarious hue.

Fast-forward 12 months later, and the world is a different place. The state of bliss promised by the end of the pandemic has failed to materialise, several countries are struggling with a cost-of-living crisis and brutal wars have pockmarked our psyche. As are result, we are – collectively – more anxious and instinctively seeking out things that offer a semblance of calm.

Peach Fuzz is exactly this. It's an embrace of pigment to soothe and relax. It is gentle and warm, with a muted, almost faded charm, creating an air of familiar simplicity. Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Colour Institute, said the shade is "radiant with warmth and modern elegance" and "echoes our innate yearning for closeness and connection".

The colour peach represents peace, harmony and love, and "resonates with compassion" while offering "a tactile embrace". In other words, as humans grapple with the rise of AI and communication platforms shatter our mental focus, this fuzzy shade of peach offers a momentary respite.

Trend forecasting company WGSN preceded Pantone when it named Apricot Crush its shade of 2024. Likewise, HGTV Home by Sherwin-Williams deemed persimmon at the colour that best encapsulates the year to come.

Call it apricot, peach, persimmon, tangerine, cantaloupe, carrot or coral, all shades carry a similar air. And as a neutral, it is easy to slip into our lives with minimal fuss. Try it as shoes, a bag or as jewellery, or perhaps as blusher or nail paint. You can wear it as a top with jeans, as seen at Dries Van Noten, or opt for head to toe as at Stella McCartney.

The only way to wear Viva Magenta was to brazen it out and embrace the look-at-me energy. Peach Fuzz, in contrast, is discreet and subtle, lending an air of quietness without having to try to hard. Which is probably what we all really need right now.

Updated: December 14, 2023, 2:04 PM