When you think pink, what exactly comes to mind?
Perhaps it conjures up images of those summer sunsets that fade into balmy, Cosmo-filled evenings? Memories of candy floss clouds bobbing along on brightly-lit piers? The familiar flushed cheeks of a nervous cinema-goer awaiting their date…?
Whether it’s rooted in nature or the environment around us, the colour pink has long held powerful associations with childhood, playfulness and tenderness.
Indeed, pink is such a well-loved colour that “seeing the world through rose-tinted glasses” has become a widely-used synonym for having an optimistic of positive perspective on things.
Here at Mywalit, we’ve crowned pink as the hottest hue of the season. The colour pink has always been a mainstay in our range of leather bags, wallets and accessories, but we gave it a much-needed makeover for our AW 19/20 collection.
Inspired by the warm tones of the world-famous Chianti region in Italy, we swapped the fuchsia and bubblegum pink for a sophisticated, wine-like shade of deep, reddish pink.
And that’s why we think pink is so powerful: It has amazing versatility and an enviable ability to reinvent itself.
So, read on to find out why we've crowned the colour pink the hue of the season.
Think Pink: Why do we think about colour in the way we do?
Art aficionados familiar with Wassily Kandinsky, the Russian painter and art theorist (us neither…), will probably be able to recall one of his most famous quotes about colour:
“Colour is a power which directly influences the soul.”
Whether we realise it or not, we are all influenced by colour every single day, from the way we choose to decorate a room to how we put together an outfit to the impulsive purchases we make at the supermarket checkout. Yep, even your last-minute choice of chocolate bar was probably dictated, at least in part, by the colour of the wrapper.
There is an entire field of study devoted to exploring this idea and it’s called colour psychology. Colour psychology research suggests that colours play an enormous role in human behaviour, such as affecting our mood, feelings and even the actions that we take. This is a fundamental reason why marketers rely so heavily on the concepts of colour psychology in their branding and advertising – It’s all about driving consumers to make a certain decision or perform an action.
What’s more, our associations with colour can also vary greatly depending on the culture and society we come from.
For example, yellow is used in most parts of Europe and North America to express happiness, warmth and a cheery mood, whereas in Egypt and many Latin American countries it can signify death, sorrow and mourning. This means that, perhaps unsurprisingly, most of our ideas about colour were probably already formed during childhood.
The colour pink: A brief history
The English word ‘pink’ wasn’t coined until the 17th century and was derived from the flowers Dianthus plumarius, also known as the ‘common pink’.
However, that familiar, light-red hue has long featured in ancient literature and history as far back as 800 BCE. Indeed, in Homer’s Greek epic poem Odyssey, Homer wrote "Then, when the child of morning, rosy-fingered dawn appeared..." It turns out that even Homer could appreciate an Instagrammable sunrise.
However it wasn’t until the 1700s that pink entered the mainstream through the interior design and fashion worlds of the middle and upper classes.
According to artist Alice Bucknell, “Pastel pink was favored by both the men and women of the European bourgeoisie, from the Georgian gowns of Mary, Countess of Howe, to the embroidered silk coats sported by the well-heeled men of Louis XVI’s court.”
The evolution of pink
Turning towards more recent times, did you know that in the first half of the 20th century, pink was perceived to be a ‘boy’s colour’? According to the Smithsonian magazine, a 1918 trade publication for infant clothing read, “the generally accepted rule is pink for the boy and blue for the girl,” since pink was seen as more “decided and stronger” and blue more “delicate and dainty.” Don’t believe us? Go back and check the colour of Snow White’s top in the original Disney movie. Yep, it’s blue.
But by 1950s, pink was beginning to be pushed as a ‘girl’s colour,’ and along came the mass-marketing of pink for baby girls: pink clothes, pink accessories, pink nurseries, pink prams… You name it, consumers bought into it.
For decades following, the unfounded idea that pink was an exclusively feminine shade was perpetuated by marketers and advertisers, with some old-fashioned types still considering it a grave fashion faux pas for men to be seen sporting pink.
Reclaiming the colour pink
But nowadays, stereotypes surrounding femininity and the colour pink are, at last, being challenged and deconstructed.
From fashion to hair and beauty, pink is no longer bound the cutesy, dainty connotations it once held. As Ashlee Simpson debuted a brand-new hair colour last week, a smoky, peach-pink shade that was dubbed ‘Pumpkin Pink’, she proved that you can rock pink and still keep your punky, cool-girl credentials.
What’s more, we think that pink is the hue of the season because of its potential to empower.
The past month, October, marked the annual Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The worldwide campaign involved thousands of organisations with the aim of drawing attention to the importance of breast cancer awareness, education and research. The highlight of the month is ‘Wear It Pink’ day, when everyone is encouraged to don as much pink as possible to raise money for the cause.
But this October, there was a twist. The campaign ‘Real Men Wear Pink’ was launched, which encouraged men to get involved, often for the first time, in fundraising for breast cancer awareness.
Not only did the campaign challenge the idea that breast cancer is an exclusively-female issue, it also reframed the colour pink as an inclusive shade that can, and should, be worn by all.
Just as the colour pink is constantly evolving, so are our associations with it. We think that there’s never been a better time to reclaim and redefine what it means to #thinkpink.
What’s your favourite way to rock pink? Let us know in the comments below!