Interview with Leatrice Eiseman

Leatrice Eiseman
Leatrice Eiseman
Executive Director
Pantone Color Institute
Pantone Color Institute

All colours exist in nature
Pantone LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of X-Rite, Incorporated, is the world-renowned authority on colour. For 50 years, Pantone has been inspiring design professionals with products, services and leading technology for the colourful exploration and expression of creativity. In 1963, Lawrence Herbert, Pantone’s founder, created an innovative system for identifying, matching and communicating colours to solve the problems associated with producing accurate colour matches in the graphic arts community. His insight that the spectrum is seen and interpreted differently by each individual led to the innovation of the Pantone Matching System, a book of standardised colour in fan format. Pantone has since expanded its colour matching system concept to other colour-critical industries, including digital technology, fashion, home, plastics, architecture and contract interiors, and paint. Pantone was acquired by X-Rite, Incorporated in October 2007. Leatrice Eiseman is the Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute as well as the Director of the Eiseman Center for Color Information and Training. Recognised by the Wall Street Journal as one of the most influential people in the world of colour, Eiseman is the author of nine books on the subject. Lee’s academic background includes studies in colour, design and business, a degree in psychology from Antioch as well as certification from UCLA for advanced work in psychology. She has studied both fashion and interior design and has taught in both areas. Eiseman speaks to Fibre2fashion about colours, trends and branding.

Once your battery of trendwatchers from around the globe tell you the trends, what is the process you follow to arrive at the colour for a season?

The Colour of the Year selection process requires thoughtful consideration and trend analysis. To arrive at the selection each year, Pantone's colour experts at the Pantone Colour Institute comb the world looking for new colour influences. This can include the entertainment industry and films in production, traveling art collections and new artists, fashion, all areas of design, popular travel destinations, as well as new lifestyles, playstyles and socio-economic conditions. Influences may also stem from new technologies, materials, textures and effects that impact colour, relevant social media platforms and even up-coming sporting events that capture worldwide attention. For 16 years, Pantone's Colour of the Year has influenced product development and purchasing decisions in multiple industries, including fashion, home furnishings and industrial design, as well as product packaging and graphic design.

Two pastels are the colours for 2016. How do you expect them to play out in fabrics and apparel, and the overall fashion industry?

The combination of Serenity and Rose Quartz was featured on the runways for both men and women and highlighted in the Pantone Fashion Colour Report Spring 2016 with Rachel Pally, Kung Katherine, Leanne Marshall, David Hart and BCBG, among others who incorporated this harmonious colour pairing into their recent collections. Playful yet sophisticated, this colour duo makes a striking statement on its own, though it works equally well as an accent when joined with other shades. With playful escapism as a theme for many, the pairing of shades can be expressed through patterning, plaids, floral prints, striping and colour blocking. Variations of this hue will be seen in a variety of textures that make it wearable throughout the year, from warming and comforting plush wools and faux furs to more ethereal feeling, lightweight linens and cottons. Serenity and Rose Quartz are also a popular choice for jewellery and fashion accessories, including handbags, hats, footwear and wearable technology. This engaging combination also works easily with other mid-tones, including cooler greens and purples. Pair with Lime Popsicle and Silver for some splash and sparkle, Old Rose for some tender nostalgia, or the velvety Fondue Fudge, which makes for a rich background.
Published on: 27/04/2016

DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of

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