This Is the New Color You’ll Be Wearing in Spring 2020 — And Here’s Why

Choosing a color to wear is often said to be emotional. It can also be contagious.

On Thursday, day four of Paris Fashion Week, one color was seemingly everywhere — not just on the runways, but out on the streets. Curiously, it was the same story in Milan last week, and back in New York there were hints of it. Fashion month isn’t over yet, but hot pink is already shaping up to be the color of the spring ’20 season.

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A hot pink look at Koche spring ’20.
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On the street during Paris Fashion Week.
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Bella Hadid in hot pink on the runway at Off-White spring ’20.
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Perhaps it was the recent collaboration between Dries Van Noten and legendary couturier Christian Lacroix. It was one of Lacroix’s signature colors, back when he still owned his namesake house and held his couture shows.

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A hot pink gown at Dries Van Noten’s collaborative collection with Christian Lacroix for spring ’20.
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Or maybe it was Rihanna in a look from her Fenty line this summer, a ruched silk minidress with matching hot pink metallic sandals (you know, the ones with those pointy toes). The fashion entrepreneur wore it to her pop-up event at The Webster in New York City in June.

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Rihanna in June outside her Fenty pop-up at the Webster in New York.
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Hollywood has also been obsessed with the hue in 2019, first at the Oscars in February, where Angela Bassett, Helen Mirren, Sarah Paulson, Gemma Chan, Maya Rudolph and Linda Cardellini all wore gowns in hot pink. Then on Sunday at the Emmy Awards, there was a run of pink and red gowns on Mandy Moore, Taraji P. Henson and Marisa Tomei revisiting the trend; not exactly hot pink but these are the hues that make it.

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Marisa Tomei in a Ralph & Russo gown at the 2019 Emmy Awards.
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Angela Bassett at the 2019 Oscars in February.
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It wasn’t so long ago that the color was associated with Barbie or “Legally Blonde” character Elle Woods, conveying a bubblegum mood not to be taken too seriously. Before that, Marilyn Monroe made it glamorous in 1953’s “Gentleman Prefer Blondes,” but the color then still connoted a superficial quality (the song was “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend,” after all).

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Marilyn Monroe performing “Gentleman Prefer Blondes,” 1953.
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Reese Witherspoon as Elle Woods in “Legally Blonde,” 2001.
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Today’s hot pink is edgier. It’s also decidedly feminist: It’s the color of Planned Parenthood and the pussyhats worn at the 2017 Women’s March. To many, its continued presence on the red carpet indicates a commitment to the “Me Too” movement. At the least, it’s a movement toward reclaiming a color that once symbolized the distinction of women as a lesser sex and a cheap marketing technique to sell female-driven products (think the “pink tax” on those products).

However it’s interpreted come next spring, it’s sure to make a statement.

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Marni’s version of hot pink for spring ’20.
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Hot pink outerwear and tie-dye tights at Versace spring ’20.
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Aya and Amy Suzuki on the street in hot pink hair during Paris Fashion Week.
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