NEW YORK — Emerald is no longer green with envy. The rich, vibrant shade is Pantone LLC's Color of the Year for 2013, beating out all the other shades of the rainbow.
The company, which creates and matches colors for the fashion, home and beauty industries, among others, picks its top hue based on both how it's already being used and a prediction of sustained popularity. Green's time had come, says Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of Pantone's research arm known as the Pantone Color Institute.
"The entire green family has been so strong, upcoming through the '90s as we're paying attention to nature, so the family isn't new, but what we needed to look at and revisit was the psychological background: Emerald is such a balanced color, and balance is something to pick up on and listen to," she explains.
Eiseman adds, "It's a color of growth, renewal, healing, unity and regeneration — words we're all so in need of at this point of history."
On the runways, emerald green was spotted for 2013 at Michael Kors, Nanette Lepore and Vivienne Tam. Tracy Reese took her bow wearing green.
In the home category, green is almost like a neutral, complementing almost everything else, Eiseman says: Pair it with tan, black, blue or even yellow. She has seen it used for an espresso maker, kitchen stool and a mixer.
Sephora is "very happy with the recognition of this color," says Margarita Arriagada, the company's senior vice president of merchandising. She envisions it as an instant hit as an eye shadow, liner, mascara and nail polish. "It's a passionate color, and it gives our client a lot of wearability."
The orange shade called Tangerine Tango that Pantone made its top color for 2012 worked for makeup, even though one might not think it would, Arriagada says. "I can tell you, with conviction, that what happened with Tangerine Tango was transformative. It was like our customer had permission to venture out there with something new and experienced color in a new way."
A reddish-pink shade called Honeysuckle and turquoise blue are other recent Pantone picks.
Colors rise and fall in popularity just like other style-centric trends, says Eiseman, but she thinks green has staying power like few others. It has taken on meaning as a noun and a verb as well as an adjective.
"It might have been a trend, but it has become a social cause so it's just part of our world. ... Kermit said it's not easy being green, but it became easier once it became a good thing to be green."