Intercolor Congress Cologne 2019: What will be the colour trends 2021/22?

Colour researchers from 17 countries met on Wednesday at the German
Fashion Institute (DMI) in Cologne to analyse colour trends for 2021/22 in
an international exchange from 20th to 22nd November 2019. According to the
motto “together and equality”, the colour experts from various national
trend institutes and organisations presented their national projects and
future solutions in short video clips, particularly on global challenges
such as sustainability, climate change, marine pollution, recycling, the
millennials in relation to an ageing population, biodiversity and

The approach to these challenges and which projects for the future they
have resulted in is different in each Intercolor member country – China,
Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, Indonesia,
Italy, Japan, Portugal, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey
and the USA. “The short video clips sketched a national and at the same
time international picture of a necessary change, which is reflected
globally with its multiple facets in contemporary moods and finally also in
concrete colours, which will be discussed and defined here,” said DMI in a
press release on Thursday.

Colour experts put together Intercolor colour map

During the three-day Intercolor Congress, delegates presented their
zeitgeist research, resulting in seasonal colour suggestions, ideas and
concepts from cultural contexts that have influenced their choices. The aim
of the exchange is to filter out the most important trends and to put them
together in a focused Intercolor colour map, which will then be published.

The extent to which geographical location played a role in the choice
of topics was apparent in each presentation: For countries highly
influenced by the sea, such as Portugal and Great Britain, water pollution
and rising sea levels are at the top of the agenda, respectively, while in
France, it was all about harmony with nature, and avoiding waste, the
community garden and “tiny houses” in the Netherlands. In Denmark and
Finland, it was about harmony with each other through the community and
networking or similarities that connect people.

Tourism and its waste management – ecotourism – was of central
importance to the Asian countries. Indonesia, for example, showed how
cosmetic waste can be recycled and used to make crayons for children, while
Thailand focused on thousands of flower baskets floating on rivers as well
as insects as food. Japan’s contribution dealt with biodiversity and

People and the environment were the central themes at Intercolor

South Korea was interested in the life of millennials, especially
aspects of ego, being single, work and work-life balance and pets being
treated like children, while China discovered virtual worlds. The USA
devoted itself to biology with the human genome and living systems. The
Zeitgeist analyses from Italy revolved around ” values of the old” –
territorial values – and also addressed the integration of older people and
the repopulation of villages.

Recycling, an important topic, was taken up by Hungary, especially the
recycling of materials, with a focus on denim, as well as dyeing and new
material compositions. Niels Holger Wien, representative of the German
Fashion Institute, presented 14 different projects for Germany as solutions
for the future. They ranged from recycled colours to how materials for
shoes, bags or other consumer goods can be produced from bacteria, or how
backpacks and other items can be made from banana fibres.

“The development of new materials, from natural fibres, from vegetable
waste or from limestone, opens up new possibilities for product design –
and shows a new colour image”, concluded the press release.

The colour experts will continue to exchange their regional research
until today, Friday, and based on this, will draw up colour forecasts for
the years 2021/22. “The Intercolor trend forecast based on this polyphony
reflects international trends and influences and will be translated into
the participating countries’ own colour concepts,” promises the German
Fashion Institute.

Intercolor was founded in 1963 with the goal to discuss fashion and
colour trends internationally and to develop a common colour map. The
Intercolor Congress is held twice a year with each Intercolor member
country hosting the meeting in turn.

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  • Photos: German Fashion Institute DMI

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