AZ Design Experts Share How to Incorporate Pantone’s New Color of the Year

When Pantone announces its color of the year, fashion and design follow suit.

As the authority on all things color, Pantone has announced its 2015 color of the year: Marsala; a robust and earthy wine red color that works as either a standalone statement color or as a strong accent to other colors.

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Not only is Marsala adaptable across fashion, beauty and design, it perfectly complements the Southwestern desert with its warm and earthy tone.

Here, Phoenix and San Francisco-based design firm Private Label International lends some tips for incorporating this exciting new color into your life, home and wardrobe.

“Marsala is a luxurious reddish-brown shade that’s not quite as bright as Adobe clay but not as deep as brick,” said Wendi Stallings, principal designer for Private Label International. “Following in the path of this year’s Radiant Orchid and 2013’s Emerald Green, the 2015 hue has already been spotted on the Spring runways of fashion designers like Dries Van Noten, Lous Vuitton and The Row,” she said.

Dries Van Noten
Dries Van Noten

How to integrate Marsala in your space and still keep it fresh and modern:

WS: “Marsala a versatile hue, it is a great background color to any palette, where popping it with color or creating a monochrome palette with skin tone neutrals.  Marsala is the great accent of leather, fur, metal or wood stain, in the fashion or in a space. Try adding a textural textile element with a fur throw or pillow,” Stallings said.

Tips for incorporating Marsala into a space:

WS: “Marsala can lead you palate or is can be a great accent.  Focus on using Marsala in your selections of leathers, fur accents, metals or wood stains. It is almost a neutral in its own right so even pairing it with black, white, ivory and metallics is fashion-forward and luxurious looking,” she said.

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How you might transition Marsala with anything you own that is Radiant Orchid:

WS: “Marsala actually pairs beautifully with Radiant Orchid and previous years Pantone colors, again just think of it as a ‘new’ neutral,” Stallings said.

How Marsala might pairwith other fashionable hues:

WS: “Marsala is a naturally born color, which pairs with saturated colors from Jewel tones, sunsets and blue skies to fall leaves. Keeping in mind that the hue looks best in rich textures or fabrics like fur, suede, knit and leather, use the Marsala as your base color and pair other rich fabrics like silk, chiffon and jacquard with it. For example, a Marsala colored leather pant would look so chic with a Radiant Orchid silk top. Or a Marsala-colored faux fur jacket would look extra chic over a solid Radiant Orchid dress,” she said.

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How you might style ‘Marsala’ in a bold and trendy way:

WS: “The color mixing is definitely the boldest way to style this color. Pair with bright clear, clean colors liketurquois, Periwinkle, Emerald, Radiant Orchid, Tangerine, Honeysuckle, and Mimosa, which are all Pantone colors in years past,” Stallings recommends.

How you might you style ‘Marsala’ in an elegant and conservative way:

WS: “Because ‘Marsala’ is a neutral hue it is inherently more conservative than, last year’s Radiant Orchid, thus grounding the brighter hues when paired. Keep it neutral or another fresh idea would be to style Marsala with colors in its same color family like beiges, blush pinks, cream and maroon,” Stallings advises.

Earlier this year Private Label International released its Trend Report for the Phoenix Area that described the inherent shift away from beige in commercial and residential development and Marsala’s addition to the mainstream color palate illustrates that this departure is happening on a macro level.

“Phoenix Metropolitan area’s movement that are brilliantly juxtaposed to the desert landscape, replacing the cool whites and discreet beiges that have become a shortcut to tastefulness, they feel fearless and exhilarating,” Stallings said.

For more information about Private Label International, visit

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