Pantone 2021 Colours of the Year - Sika’a

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January 12, 2021 2 min read

Here at Sika’a, we’re all about forward-looking design: bringing traditional African prints together with modern trends and cuts. To make sure our African fashion collections are current and on-trend, we always keep a close eye on forecasts and predictions that might inspire future designs.

Pantone’s colour of the year is one example. Thoroughly researched and based on the current milieu, colour psychology and trend forecasting, Pantone’s reasoning for their decision always makes for fascinating reading.

Pantone’s 2021 selection has recently been announced, and we love what they’ve picked out. Somewhat unusually, this year they have chosen not one colour, but two…

Ultimate grey and illuminating yellow

pantone colour of the year 2021 sikaa african fashion

Pantone’s two colours of the year for 2021 are PANTONE 17-5104 Ultimate Gray and PANTONE 13-0647 Illuminating (a sunny yellow colour). It’s not unheard of for Pantone to choose two colours for its annual selection, and there is distinct reasoning behind this year’s pairing.

After a year that has shaken the world, Pantone wanted its colours of the year for 2021 to embody fortitude and hope – represented by the utilitarian grey and cheerful yellow respectively.

In their official announcement, Pantone explains that “the union of PANTONE 17-5104 Ultimate Gray + PANTONE 13-0647 Illuminating is one of strength and positivity. It is a story of colour that encapsulates deeper feelings of thoughtfulness with the promise of something sunny and friendly.”

And when it comes to fashion, Ultimate Gray also gives a subtle nod to what we’ve learned in 2020. Speaking to Vogue, Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, said “People have been living in grey sweatpants, right? We're not going to spend the rest of our lives in them, but the point is that we’ve learned to be OK with them and what they say about our lifestyles in 2020.”

Why we love this year’s colours

We’re big fans of Pantone’s choices for 2021, as they speak to the power of design to capture and convey feelings, ideas and concepts – which, as a modern African fashion designer, our collections also seek to do.

Pantone’s union of two contrasting colours, one bright and cheery and one more muted, is analogous with the duality of our own brand. Our collections bring together the vibrancy of African fashion trends with design elements for the modern, sophisticated woman.


In fact, several of the designs from our new Femme Essence collection contain zesty yellows against muted greys, very much in line with Pantone’s 2021 colour palette.

We can’t wait to see how Pantone’s colours of the year are used in fashion, interiors and product design in 2021. And because our brand mission is to bring a current, modern approach to African fashion, our designers will continue to follow upcoming trends and see how they can work with traditional African patterns to create high-end, African-inspired pieces.

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