In love with colour

H&M’s colour trend forecaster Petra Lundgren keeps track of thousands and thousands of hues and shades and tints. From bright cobalt blue tops to deep Mars red bottoms, this team leader effectively helps to colour the closets of the world.

You think about colours all day long. Not a bad job, right?
- That’s true - I make sure we keep track of what colours are gaining popularity and why. I do have a great job.

So how does it work?
- I work with my team to supply all our designers with independent advice on colour. We’re a bit like an in-house trend forecasting agency, and my role is to collect and present information on what colours are on the rise and what colours are falling out of favour. We go to all the main events, like the Pitti Filati yarn show in Florence, and we stay on top of a wide range of trend analysis, forecasts, and reports. We then relay this to the designers helping them understand what colours are out there, what combinations might work and what is going on in the world of colour. But we just provide the knowledge; we don’t make the actual decisions.

What is your favourite colour?
- I like it when colours are slightly vague, when you can’t really tell if you’re looking at one colour or another. I like dirty colours. But at the same time, I really enjoy the development of sustainable garments: they always used to come in washed-out moss green and paper bag brown shades, but now they’re getting brighter and brighter. The latest Conscious Exclusive collection has some seriously strong hues in it.

Yes, and that’s because you showed the designers it’s possible to be sustainable and colourful. At the end of the day, you still have an impact on what colours millions of people wear each day.
- I try not to think too much about that.

 

Three colours Petra Lundgren thinks you might wear tomorrow:

Pink
“Powdery pinks with a touch of beige - a unisex hue that is slightly hard to decipher not just in terms of the colour itself but also when it comes to how it is used and by whom.”

Yellow
“I like the contrast between blue and yellow, as in the Swedish flag. Maybe that’s a typically Swedish combination to root for, but I think it’s a really attractive combination.”

Purple
“I’ve been thinking for the past three years or so that purple would make a comeback, and I think we’ll get there soon. The lipstick I’m wearing today is a kind of purple. It started out as red, but then I added to it again and again until I ended up with this purplish shade.”

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