Millennial Pink is a Centennial Perk
Millennials and Generation Z (aka Centennials) approach style very differently. But this season, there’s a hot fashion trend that both generations, and genders, are embracing: the color Millennial Pink. Just as Gen Z turns to creative expression to manage stress, young generations around the world are turning to color as a form of expression, wearing brighter colors like the trendy Millennial Pink. Millennial Pink, popular since 2016, is an iteration of the brighter pink pussy hats of Women’s March 2017 and it’s everywhere.
Millennial Pink is a sophisticated, subtle, salmon tone of pink that’s also androgynous and nostalgic. It’s a modern twist on the classic pink products of childhood that delivered fond memories for both generations: products like Betty Crocker cakes, the Hello Kitty oven and the glamour of throwback lifestyles with Mad Men. But the Millennial Pink craze is much more than a trendy color. It’s popularity symbolizes a turning point in how youth thinks about style and expression. For Gen Z, Millennial Pink has ignited a passion for color and the confidence to stand out, to express themselves through color.
Gen Z, practical and politically correct, has donned a minimalist style for the past few years – turning to “NormCore” no style, “Steez” street style and gender neutral clothing, all in darker hues that allowed them to blend in. Typically, Gen Z is less concerned about being in style than Millennials. As the New York Times reports: “47 per cent of the youths [Futures Company] surveyed (ages 12 to 17) say they ‘care a lot about whether their clothes are in style,’ compared with 65 per cent for millennials surveyed in 1999.”
I recently talked fashion and style with a classroom of students’ age 13 to 17 with very diverse senses of style. 80% are in love with the color and the trend. Most were sporting Millennial Pink T-shirts, dresses, bandanas, Vans, and phone cases. (One sporty senior cherishes his grandfather’s pink linen blazer which is today, Millennial Pink. They all agreed that while pink had been perceived as loud and preppy, this pink is upbeat, playful yet smart and soothing – just what this anxious generation needs. Comments on why they love Millennial Pink: “perks me up on rainy days”, “makes me feel trendy” and it’s “an all day outfit – good for school, internships and social media.”
Seeing our ambitious and reality-struck youth dressed in cheerful colors and expressive styles is very refreshing, and hopeful. The proliferation and adaptation of a powerful color could be the hope that Gen Z needs, proof that things always have a brighter side. With more confidence and style, resilient and altruistic Generation Z is even further empowered to stand up for their values and causes. I wonder what color Generation Z will be named after!