by John Russel Jones

WGSN, the global authority on consumer and design trends, and Coloro, the global authority on the future of color, today announced the colors that will be adopted by 2026.

Acceleration is the overarching theme driving the A/W 25/26 Global Color Forecast. As the climate crisis brings chaos and strange omens of decline (orange skies, green oceans), we will see an acceleration of change, both good and bad. Urgency, repair, and reassurance will be the new necessities in this new reality, and this is reflected in our A/W 25/26 colors.

The Key Colors for A/W 25/26 are Celestial Yellow, Cherry Lacquer, Retro Blue, Neon Flare, and Future Dusk.

Urangoo Samba, Head of Color for WGSN, said,  “Our Key Colors for A/W 25/26 reflect urgency, repair, and reassurance as we face new necessities in this new reality globally.

“Light and luminous hues such as Celestial Yellow, as well as meditative and sensual darks of Future Dusk and Cherry Lacquer speak of the search for restoration, whether it be looking out to cosmos for guidance, or turning our gaze inwards for solace.

“Dependable and familiar colors such as Retro Blue, echo the enduring appeal of nostalgia, and the need to connect with people and things that are comforting and recognizable in a world that feels perilous and uncertain.

“Intense and bright tones such as Neon Flare, mirror the beauty and strangeness of nature, and the urgency and activism required to bring it back to a place of balance.”

According to Sansan Chen, Managing Director of Coloro, “Before any seasonal palette is confirmed, all forecasted colors are run through Coloro’s Feasibility Intelligence solution to ensure the colors are broadly achievable on most materials. We typically choose colors that can be achieved on all materials, however, based on strong trend evidence provided by WGSN, this year we decided to overlook this criterion for the color Neon Flare 014-68-58 and it was added as a Key Color for A/W 25/26. The color is not achievable on cotton and has limited lightfastness on nylon but Coloro provides brands with the knowledge of how they can appropriate and achieve ways to introduce that important pop of neon color while avoiding all the frustrations of misapplications. This showcases the importance of a balanced approach that I’m sure is mirrored in our clients’ businesses and how creativity and technical expertise are always working together for the win.”

Celestial Yellow- 048-90-17

Celestial Yellow is a glowing, luminous, multi-sensorial color that feels both restorative and surreally off-kilter. It is reminiscent of the moon, the stars, and the sun, and connects with the search for reassurance and guidance as people look to spirituality, astrology, and astronomy in times of uncertainty.

Celestial Yellow also has a meditative and enlightened quality that will appeal to a world of screen-based, digitally disconnected lifestyles, encouraging us to slow down and embrace the passing of time. This supernatural and infused pastel also draws inspiration from more earthy themes – the strange yet sublime processes of decay, mold and fermentation.

Cherry Lacquer- 159-23-15

Cherry Lacquer is a subversive dark with a luxurious appeal. In a world where niche is the new normal and outsiders are the new insiders, this color looks to subcultures such as punk, metal, and goth for inspiration, and has a sense of intimacy and pulsating intensity.

In the age of rage and uncertainty, Cherry Lacquer feeds into themes of resistance and rebellion. It also has a seductive quality that taps into our deepest, darkest desires, taboos, and pleasures as a form of radical escapism and self-empowerment.

Retro Blue- 100-64-14

Retro Blue is an offbeat, analog color with a warm and sentimental quality. It has an undercurrent of soft joy and innocence brought on by memories – aligning with the rise of kidults and nostalgic sentiments re-imagined among Gen Z.

As its name suggests, Retro Blue is inspired by designs that stand the test of time, and that are made to be loved, lived in, and laundered. It has an authenticity that calls to mind sanded, worn, and dusty vintage finds, and the frugal joys of repurposing and revisiting pre-loved items.

Neon Flare- 014-68-51

Neon Flare is a transient neon with a kinetic and synthetic quality. This luminous red has its roots in hazard and disaster signs but also has a nuanced edge to repurpose it as a color of remedy – a warning to repair.

As the planet faces code red and climate anxiety becomes more pervasive, this AI-inspired color has an igniting and stimulating effect, fuelling a sense of collective urgency as we strive to unlock solutions to ‘wicked problems’ (those with interdependent factors, which seem impossible to solve). Its charged character speaks to the need to come together and restore our spirits in a burst of communal effort and energy.

Color of the Year 2025: Future Dusk- 129-35-18

2025 will be the year of strategic imagination when individual and collective creativity will be harnessed to generate new economic and ecological solutions. Future Dusk aligns with this theme, sitting between blue and purple, and bringing a sense of mystery and escapism through its dark and moody qualities.

This surreal and otherworldly shade also has a celestial and futuristic character, inspired by the emergence of the second space age. It aligns with themes of moving from darkness to light,  dusk to dawn, preparing us for new horizons.