Pantone’s Color of the Year Was Made for the Metaverse

On Thursday, Pantone announced its 2023 color of the year: Viva Magenta. A hue with a lust for life. Not the aggressive synthetic of Barbie, not the intense luxury of Valentino’s couture, not the tired millennial salmon, but as the New York Times critic at large Jason Farago put it, “a saturated shade honking at the threshold of fuchsia, definitely not organic but not quite electric.”

The shade was selected by human trend prognosticators who survey fashion and design, then interpreted by the A.I. tool Midjourney to create what Pantone described as an “endless new ecosystem to be explored, called ‘the Magentaverse.’” In a news release, the company called Viva Magenta, a.k.a. Pantone 18-1750, “an unconventional shade for an unconventional time.”

A few members of the Styles team ventured into the magentaverse to debate the color of the year. Let us know what you think in the comments.

Vanessa Friedman: The magentaverse! Let us pause for a moment to consider that word. I wonder what Mark Zuckerberg would say? I also wonder what you all would say. What does it mean that this is what could define 2023?

Callie Holtermann: The actual swatch of this color is so similar TikTok’s “follow” and “upload” buttons. A.I. drives TikTok’s algorithm, A.I. helped express the color of the year. I guess the house always wins?

Here she is, folks!Credit…Pantone

Jeremy Allen: I’ve grudgingly got to hand it to A.I.: Magenta might be the only color for 2023, a year that’s going to be all about divided government, divided everything. It’s neither here nor there (“pinkish-purplish-red” is one of Wikipedia’s definitions, and it’s exactly between red and blue on the color wheel), but it’s screamingly in-your-face.

VF: On the other hand, Jeremy, it’s also a compromise between red and blue. Which is maybe optimistic? At least politically. Though, according to color scientists,

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