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Erika Firm Predicts The 2021 Pantone Color of the Year


The following is an email exchange with Color Expert Erika Firm.  It’s really a snippet of our ongoing conversation on the subject.  Enjoy the peak in to our DM/texts/emails.

Alesya Opelt Macatol: Thank you for sharing your Spring Summer 2021 Color Palette.  I love them.  Are you ever surprised – millions of views later – how popular they are?




Erika Firm: Thanks, Alesya! I’m totally surprised. I started making them so that I could have a reference sheet for myself and to share with my clients. I never dreamed they’d end up all over the Internet.

AOM:  My favorite feature of SS21 is the way it makes a very happy rainbow.  Do you have a favorite color?



Erika Firm Happy Rainbow Pantone Spring Summer Colors 2012


EF: I think Pantone did a great job with the colors this year. My favorite part of this palette is the way that any two colors pair nicely together. Then add in one of the “classic core colors” and you have a great start for a project.

You’re going to be shocked when I say this … though they are lovely, the greens are NOT my favorite in this palette. I’m loving Marigold, Rust, and Illuminating. I know. I was shocked, too.



AOM:  GASP!  I can’t believe it.

Now the big question. What do you think the Color of the Year for 2021 will be?

EF:  Based on what I’m seeing trending out in the fashion and home décor world, I’m predicting Marigold, Cerulean, or Illuminating as the Pantone 2021 Color of the Year.

AOM:  I am SO hoping for Illuminating.

EF:  I’m hoping for Marigold — it’s unusual. Not quite yellow. Not quite orange. It’s so dramatic. I think a lot depends on the health of our nation and how the COVID-19 pandemic plays out. If a vaccine (and a comprehensive strategy for distributing it) is in place, I think a bright, fresh, celebratory color like Marigold or Illuminating will be in order as the Pantone Color of the Year 2021.

If we’re still struggling, Cerulean could work — it has a medicinal quality and is also hopeful. Like surgical scrubs. But we’ll just have to wait and see.

AOM:  Fair enough. Per usual, you’re ahead of the curve. Your favorite color is green, but I noticed on your IG you made a pretty substantial change to your kitchen recently. Do you have color ESP?



EF: When the delivery guys brought it in they asked if it was a mistake. They had never delivered a yellow oven before. It makes me happy every time I walk in the kitchen.

AOM: Hilarious!  Thank you for your expertise. Can’t wait to see how this plays out in fashion. We’re all ready for some brighter moments.


The Power Lunch is a behind the scenes look at Alesya Bags by founder Alesya Opelt Macatol.   For more information on the business visit  If you’re digging rust for Spring Summer 2021 check our our Brandy work bags here.

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