Each year, Pantone sets the mood of the year with a colour prediction that goes on to influence design across apparel, beauty, interior decor, graphics and more. In 2022 the colour was Very Peri, a vibrant blue-purple tone. If you were to mix Very Peri with the hot Barbiecore/Valentino pink that was all the rage in 2022, you’ll get Viva Magenta, the colour of the year 2023.
A vibrant, bold shade of reddish purple-pink, Viva Magenta is a statement colour that exudes confidence, creativity and playfulness. Pantone touched on this in their announcement, stating: “Viva Magenta balances boldness with a feeling of fun. This dynamic mix exudes rebellion, but not at the expense of softness. It embodies an expression of fierce grace, inspiring us to show up with confidence and humanity.”
Viva Magenta is without a doubt the perfect shade to add some flair to your wardrobe, and African fashion designers have taken note of this for a while now. Fashion on the African continent has long been celebrated for its vibrant use of colours, unique patterns, and intricate details. Therefore it comes as no surprise to see African designers embrace the hue long before it became the colour of the year.
As the fashion world turns its attention to the reddish pink-purple shade this year, let’s look at how African designers have incorporated Viva Magenta into their designs and collections. From elegant dresses, playful accessories that incorporate the statement-making hue, and more subtle additions, these pieces will add some much-needed brightness to your wardrobe.
One African designer who explores the shade beautifully is Ghanaian-based luxury brand, Christie Brown. The brand is known for its intricate designs which featured elements of African prints and textiles juxtaposed with luxurious fabrics. And for their Fall/Winter ‘22 collection, the brand explores the Viva Magenta hue in a two-piece set. Here, the colour of the year 2023 – albeit used sparingly and in conjunction with burgundy- comes alive in a custom print designed by the brand. The burgundy magenta print is sewn into a fitted long-sleeved top and a matching skirt with an embroidered thigh slit. The final piece is a wardrobe essential that can be styled as a pair or separates to create multiple looks throughout the year.
Ivorian designer Kente Gentlemen also makes an excellent take on the colour of the year. Acclaimed for their use of traditional Kente throughout their design, the brand translates the purple-pink hue into a dress sewn out of Kente panels. The Aya dress features a combination of black, a deep-toned magenta and pink Kente that makes it a standout piece in every wardrobe. The same hue comes alive in a cropped top and tailored pant set that is also a statement-making piece.
Elsewhere, there is a chic translation of the viva magenta hue by the Nigerian-based brand; Rendoll. The contemporary womenswear label led by Nigerian designer, Reni Abina, embraced the hue of the year in her Elsa Set. The set comprises a plissé ruched crop blouse and a matching plissé calf-lengthed skirt with ruffle hem details. Rendoll’s interpretation of Viva Magenta provides another wardrobe piece that can be styled all year round and in many ways.
We can expect to see more African designers showcasing their new collections with the colour viva magenta in the upcoming fashion weeks, and for sure it will be a trend to watch throughout the fashion industry. The colour is not only fresh and energizing but also a symbol of uniqueness and inclusivity, which is what Africa and African fashion represent.
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