When Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton gave her concession speech after the presidential election last November, her bright violet lapel and blouse also spoke volumes. The color, a harmonious blend of red and blue, felt like the perfect political statement of unity — inspiring her followers to press forward, to never give up, and to work together for a better future.
And there's another emblematic layer to the regal hue as well: Like her white pantsuits, purple was also worn by suffragettes to signify loyalty and dignity, and became a symbol for feminists throughout history. So, in a climate in which more and more women are demanding their voices be heard, it seems especially poignant that the Pantone Color Institute chose "Ultra Violet" as the 2018 Color Of The Year.
"There were the feminists of the 1970s who used [violet] as a way to stand outside the norm," explains Laurie Pressman, VP of the Pantone Color Institute which predicts the next year's color trends. "It's not a color women were wearing at the time — it's very dramatic — so to me it was really a sign of protest more than anything else. It's a way to say, 'How do I make a statement? How do I stand out above the fray?'"
After a year in which women gathered for the largest single-day demonstration in history, tirelessly fought against sexual harassment, ran for political office in record numbers, and supported organizations like Planned Parenthood when the government wouldn't, it feels good to be going into 2018 with a color that reflects just how strong our unity — and our feminism — really is.
To celebrate the announcement, Pantone teamed up with Butter London to create a custom Ultra Violet beauty collection, so you can wear the color loudly on your eyes, nails, or lips if you so choose. (Press play on the video below to see how we'll be using it.)
While swiping on an eyeshadow or lip gloss in solidarity might feel trivial in the wake of everything happening in the world today, remember that there's nothing wrong with doing something for yourself and creating a visual reminder that we're all in this together. Sarina Godin, Butter London's president, says it best: "Ultra Violet conveys a sense of dignity, progress, and possibility. It celebrates non-conformity and equality. This message is symbolic of female empowerment as women continue to express themselves in a multitude of forms — whether it be bold color, activism, or other artistic expression."