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'Marsala' is Pantone's 2015 color of the year

Bright colors may soon be over, because neutrals are taking charge in the fashion world.

The color specialists at Pantone, a subsidiary of color-science group X-Rite Inc., have announced that "marsala," a reddish brown, will be the color of the year in 2015. The Wall Street Journal notes that the hue "will pair well with the '70s fashions hitting store shelves." Marsala has already appeared on the runways of "directional" labels, including Dries Van Noten, Louis Vuitton, and Raf Simons.

The Pantone Color Institute, Pantone's color advisory group, predicts each year's most popular colors in fashion, decor, and graphic design. The annual announcement helps retailers and designers determine what will be popular in the year ahead, and consumers "gobble up" the trending products, according to the Journal. The specialists choose each year's color based on polls of designers and "creative types."

So why brown? "It has an organic and a sophisticated air," Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, told the Journal. Leather brand Hobo says that black has "become so generic," but marsala has a vintage but neutral feel. And the name marsala is "feel-good," Eiseman says, which evokes pleasant memories, inspiring consumers to invest in the hue.