What is Gen-Z yellow?
See ya, millennial pink – a new generation of colour is here
Words— Mylène Genty
Last year you couldn’t scroll through Instagram without seeing millennial pink – the colour described by New York Magazine as a shade named for “its capacity to define a generation with its perfect balance of serious and frivolous.” Millennial pink had a good run, and we still like it, but it’s time for something bolder. A tone that oscillates between a honey and sunny hue – reminiscent of the now iconic Beyonce dress, the infamous $250 Vetements DHL t-shirt, Wes Anderson’s short film Hotel Chevalier, Rihanna’s Guo Pei gown from the 2015 Met Gala, mustard, Pikachu...we’re talking – Gen Z Yellow.
You may have heard of it as the new It colour – elected to toss millennial pink from its throne. And of course, marketers are trying to attach this colour to a new generation with the ‘Z’ sticking yet another generational connotation to emphasize newness.
It’s younger! It’s hipper! It’s the Future!
Clockwise from top left: Vetements' infamous DHL tee, Rihanna at the Met Gala, Amal Clooney, French It Girl Camille Charriere, fashion blogger Lisa Hahnbück, Beyonce, Natalie Portman in Hotel Chevalier.
While change is good, this colour trend competition feels a touch vain. Let’s not forget that the rise and popularity of millennial pink coincided with an important conversation about genders, diversity and openness - which is far from a coincidence. Even though it became mainstream, millennial pink still holds cultural relevance today.
That being said, Gen Z yellow is here and it has its reasons. It’s active and even further detached to a specific gender. It recalls movement and change, qualities often associated with a generation that’s growing with an astute awareness of the world.
The colour is also packed with significance. While pink is more meditative, yellow conjures energy. Perhaps that’s why the youngest generation that has a name has been attached to it. Although now perceived in a positive light in western civilizations, yellow evokes enlightenment, happiness and warmth.
Despite being loaded with cultural meaning, the aesthetic of yellow can be tough to digest, especially when it’s everywhere. But then again, it does feel refreshing to do something unexpected.
If you’re willing to give it a try, here are four yellow pieces you can easily incorporate in your wardrobe (even when you have a sober style).
1. Dip your toes in
If you start incorporating turmeric hues ever so gradually, it won’t be that big of a shock. First maybe a pair of suede babouches, a shoe I find works best in a warm colour. Not only is this type of shoe perfect for summer, but its hue also matches many summer essentials - think light blue denim and laidback skirts.
2. A brave blazer
Wow - what a statement! You’d think it would be hard to pull off but it’s actually pretty easy to mix if you have light coloured pieces. Make sure to pair with neutral colours, and even muted blue. It will help smoothen the transition.
3. Mellow yellow, a.k.a. a comfortable top
I own a ton of muscle tees, all in different colours. If your thing is sweaters, then try it in this shade. While there are many shades of yellow on the market, both the dark and lighter hues will work fine with the neutral colours mentioned above.
4. Eye-catching accessories
While they’re often small and sometimes go unnoticed, they will often make or break an outfit. They’re also great to test the water and see if how you feel about a trend. The accessory I have the most fun with: socks. Try them with heels or sneakers and see how that feels.
After all, that, if the flamboyance of yellow is still stopping you from trying it, don’t forget – if human rights barrister and activist Amal Clooney can pull Gen-Z yellow in a classy manner, you surely can too.
Need help finding your style without all the shopping? Try Style Plan,