‘Yellow Generation Z’ isn’t making a ‘freak’, say fashion experts

Is yellow the new pink? Gen Z doesn’t seem to think so.

Despite fashionistas’ best attempts to market “Gen Z Yellow” to their target audience, the generation’s so-called eponymous color isn’t making a splash — and it pales in comparison to “Millennial Pink.”

Lori Pressman, vice president of the Pantone Color Institute, told The Post that “society imposed” the canary hue on Gen Z, while its pink predecessor “came about organically.”

“[That is] another reason for the waning influence of Gen Z Yellow vs. Millennial Pink,” Pressman said in an email.

Semantics aside, the sun shade just isn’t universally charming.

“This may be simple, but honestly, Gen Z Yellow isn’t the most comfortable to wear — I’d go as far as to say it’s embarrassing,” said trend forecaster Kendall Becker, who boasts more of 31,200 followers on TikTok, before The Post. “[The] the majority of trainers won’t see a bright yellow dress on the rack and immediately climb. This shade takes a bit of training to make it easier to style.”


Unlike its pink predecessor, which was quickly injected into mainstream style, the canary color does not make such a “splash”.
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Meanwhile, Millennial Pink has taken over the masses and has been adopted into every aspect of life—from fashion trends to restaurant decor—and was even named Pantone’s 2016 Color of the Year under another name, Rose Quartz.

Generation Z yellow, which looks like Pantone’s 2021 color of the year, was first attributed to the youngest generation in 2017 by the now-defunct site Man Repeller. However, experts say the color still hasn’t captured the masses like the dusty pink shade once did — and still does.


The smiling woman on the street in a yellow outfit
The vibrant shade of Gen Z Yellow is cheerful, Pressman explained, but it’s not as catchy and catchy as the various shades of pink that are gaining popularity.
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“By 2018, the entire Internet will probably look like the inside of a banana,” author Haley Nachman wrote at the time, citing yellow things like mustard bottles as inspiration.

But her forecast did not withstand the pink wave.

TikTok’s Barbiecore craze paid tribute to the never-ending obsession with pink, taking cues from Margot Robbie in the upcoming movie Barbie, Kim Kardashian, Megan Fox and Lizzo, all of whom flaunted the neon pigment in Instagram photos and on the red carpet.

Even Pantone seems to be marinating in magenta eight years after Millennial Pink broke into the mainstream. Viva Magenta has been crowned Pantone’s Color of the Year for 2023 and is described as “bold and fearless”.

If it seems like everyone is thinking pink, that’s right. According to data from French trend forecasting company Heuritech, pink – along with green and orange – is expected to dominate fashion over the next 12 months.

But not only was yellow drowned in the gum wave, it was “simply less successful” than its pink counterpart, a company spokesperson told The Post.


A man on a pink background wearing a yellow sweater and glasses
Yellow hasn’t “blown up” yet, said one trend forecaster, although she’s reluctant to rule out the color entirely.
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But Mandy Lee, a fashion forecaster known as @oldloserinbrooklyn online, isn’t convinced. Yellow isn’t exactly “out,” she said, it just never had its moment.

“I haven’t seen yellow enter the runway or mainstream fashion in a significant enough way to agree that yellow is becoming more popular than pink,” the content creator told The Post, noting that neither color necessarily will be rejected by Generation Z.

It can be hard to pin down one color of Gen Z, whose “individualist” mindset trumps its style. Forbes called them “brand agnostics.” When styling, they look for pieces “that fit their individual personality and communicate their identity,” rather than sticking to what’s in fashion.

If they are not even loyal to the label, how can they be defined by one shade?

“Whereas millennials wanted to come together to create change, Gen Z is more individualistic in style,” Pressman said, “and we live in a time where it’s all about a unique identity and personalized self-expression.”

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