Neon Colors are Back!

by | Jun 25, 2020 | Trend

If you’ve suspected that the Memphis brights of the past couple of years have started to decline, you’re right. What’s taking their place? Since late last year, directional assortments have been toying with neons instead.

This trend is very early in its lifecycle, and it has plenty of room to grow. It’s part of a surge of nostalgia for the 1980s that is coming primarily from millennials. So many references to the 80s are surfacing in 2020, from wearing fanny packs to eating mac-and-cheese and favoring traditional décor. Why not bring back a color story that helped define the same decade?

Coming on the heels of more-muted hues, neon colors offered a breath of fresh air that signaled a clear departure from the mid-century. And boy, did the new attitude they represented get noticed! Hot pink, electric purple, fluorescent yellow, laser lime, vivid green, luminous blue, flashing red and glowing orange gave workout gear energy and made back-to-school products pop. In the home, these hues woke up toss pillows and brought a touch of whimsy to kitchen gadgets.

So far, the impact of today’s neon movement has been stronger on the apparel side. Retailers from American Eagle to Nordstrom to Le Bon Marché have highlighted this color story.

Just be patient, however, and you’ll see more for home. Already, Hoff Interieur has suggested neon chargers as a way to wake up neutral table settings in an immensely salable approach. Tovolo has dressed winter characters in neon caps on spatulas. For Christmas 2020, UK retailer John Lewis featured a tree dressed in neon trim.

Here’s more from the leading edge of the neon revival. Look for neon colors to continue emerging as the economy recovers and new products make their way onto retail shelves.

Michelle Lamb
Michelle Lamb

Michelle Lamb is co-founder and chairman of Minneapolis-based Marketing Directions, Inc. Established in 1987, Marketing Directions specializes in home furnishings color and trend forecasting, working extensively with clients to provide individual direction and color specification. A sampling of past and present clients includes Pier 1 Imports, ACCO, Hunter Douglas, Target Stores, Home Depot, Walmart, Gerber Baby Products, Tarkett, Hunter Fan, 3M, EK Success, Jo-Ann Stores and Petmate.

Marketing Directions publishes The Trend Curve™. Michelle Lamb is the Editorial Director of this trade newsletter which forecasts trends in color, pattern and design for manufacturers, interior designers and retailers. She also creates The Trend Curve Colors™ color-and-trend forecasts for everyday décor, spring/summer, fall and Christmas. The Trend Album™ series of European trend reports provides extensive trend insights from her travels to industry major trade fairs. Her blog is in its tenth year.

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