Summer Blush: The Case for Millennial Pink


Pink has always been a summer decor staple. You can give any room a complete makeover by adding pink wallpaper, or even just a vibrant little touch of the colour, like a poppy pink throwpillow. Now, you might have noticed how millennial pink is slowly worming its way into palettes everywhere, from fashion, to architecture, to furniture design. It even stood out as the most popular colour this year at the mecca of interior design, the Milan Design Week, last month. Read on to see what all the fuss is about.

Milan Design Week’s Most Instagrammed Post is a Millennial Pink Installation

Marc Ange’s sculptural installation ‘Le Refuge’ was a canopied day bed with a millennial pink cushion matching its fenestrated leaf canopy. The leaves cut geometric patterns into the bed in the daylight, creating a dreamy ambiance. According to Lange, the installation is inspired by a childhood fantasy, a magical jungle in the mind that a child escapes into. The soft pink of the installation gives it a fairy tale ambiance, truly making it the refuge of childhood memories.

Reclaiming Pink

Pink generally had a bit of a controversial reputation- too girly, too pop, too garish. Millennial pink smoothly manages to reclaim the color with its fresh, ambivalent tones. It’s like the blues have been taken out of harsh acid pop pink, and softened down to a soothing pastel shade. Moreover, it’s not peachy enough to be claustrophobic like bubblegum pink. Pink has long suffered associations with frivolousness, and triviality. Speaking with Dezeen magazine, designer Nika Zupanc sets the context for the increasing popularity of the color,“We all felt that we are courageous for introducing this colour, as it had a sort of bad reputation at that time, symbolizing frivolity and un-seriousness, far away from the expectations of the design establishment.”

Roy Lichtenstein’s Seductive Girl embodies the controversial acid pop pink that started the pink rebellion

The different tones included under millennial pink

Versatile Wonder

This shade of pink might not be a ‘serious’ colour like the ever popular grey, but is as elegant, and can keep its own against any grey upholstered luxury. The colour has the distinction of being both fresh and mellow, suited both to the adventurous in spirit, and those who are calmer, and take things slowly. And you can’t deny that picking pink makes people feel adventurous.

The Holy Matchaa Cafe
The interiors in the gallery at Sketch, London, were designed by India Mahdavi, who uses pink voraciously. Photo courtesy: Sketch, London

Speaking with the New York magazine, Fabiana Faria of the boutique Coming Soon says, “we’ve upholstered things in this emerald green that we’re excited about, but it sits there for months. The second I show a pink thing — anything — it leaves so quickly.” With the reputation that the colour has, pink has become a visual synonym for progressive outlooks. Used, overused and abused by its associations, the colour has now slipped into a grey area (no pun intended), a deliciously ambiguous symbolic space, ever transcending with changing meanings.

Gender Bender

he New York magazine called this pink ‘the genderless mascot’ for the colour’s androgynous appeal. It’s not the girly barbie pink that men have traditionally fled from. Plus pink colour choices are now considered adventurous. Two decades ago, a man might have been too engrossed in his masculinity and a tad bit scared to even go near the colour, which represented the female other. But now, the progressive postmodern male is choosing the colour as an expression of his gender-adventurous self. If postmodern gender is more of a spectrum, or a complex onion of identities, pink is the perfect palette to make the point.

The duskiness of millennial pink gives it more depth than pop pink

The Media Knows Best

At one point, it might have seemed that pink would pass, like some of the more outrageous trends the world has seen (mullets, shoulder pads, bullet bras….you get the idea). However, the color has steadily taken root in the design world quite persistently. The slowly growing interest in pink has been covered all over the media. Not only design dedicated magazines like Dezeen,and Vogue but even the big names in journalism, like the Guardian, New York Magazine and the Times think they’ve happened on a trend that is going to stay.

The New York magazine investigates the millenial pink passion

The Designer’s Favorite

It’s no surprise that the biggest names in design are hopelessly crushing on pink now. Decor designer Matteo Cibic has said that the distinctive millennial pink palette in The Grand Budapest Hotel inspires him. Director Wes Anderson himself has had a long and enduring affair with the colour, pouring it everywhere in his movies from The Royal Tenenbaums to The Grand Budapest Hotel. Rihanna’s much anticipated Fenty x Puma Spring Collection was loaded with the youthful color.

The peachy pinks in The Royal Tenenbaums
Fenty’s in Love, too

And we can’t deny that we’re falling, too, for this marshmallow sweet, young, poised colour.