Magnetic and majestic, cobalt is one of this winter’s choice apparel hues. Whether sporting it with a T-shirt, adding a dab of it via jewelry or using it as a primary color for a company logo, this vivid shade of blue can’t fail to seize the attention of a target audience. It’s no coincidence that designers from Ralph Lauren to Stella McCartney to Paco Rabanne are showcasing cobalt in their latest winter fashions.
“When you consider that cobalt blue is traditionally the color of Chinese porcelain, Spanish tile, and paisley or damask fabrics, it is no surprise that when clothes are featured in this color, they are meant to make a statement,” says Mary Ellen Nichols, director of marketing communications at Bodek and Rhodes. She explains that cobalt’s historical associations with “loyalty and royalty” make it a stand-out choice for conveying both a sense of refinement and stability. Nichols says cobalt would work great for both trade-show attire or sales meetings where reps want to establish trust. “Cobalt represents purity,” she says. “It’s the same hue as the center of a flame. It conveys an urgency and a passion that attracts and keeps attention.”
Noting that cobalt is generating high “celebrity interest,” Elyse Bonner says that American Apparel has added a cobalt-inspired hue to its color roster, making the Los Angeles-based clothier one of several suppliers to do so recently. Bonner, showroom representative at American Apparel, notes that cobalt hues are particularly popular with medical and government organizations, which can attract new clients by replacing more subdued blues used for uniforms with cobalt. “Deep shades of blue like cobalt are often associated with dependability,” she says.