Thursday, April 26, 2012

the color forecast

OK, so far I've been more impressed by this than anyone I've told about it, but I am not going to let that stop me from blogging about it: the color forecast.

What is the color forecast, you might ask? The Pimkie clothing company has installed cameras in Paris, Milan, and Antwerp that record each passersby's clothing, magically extracting the colors and posting them to their website. Not only that, but they provide visualizations that you can use to explore the colors of the day, week, and month. So perhaps forecast is a bit of a misnomer, since we're mostly looking backwards, but let's look past that and explore some of the data.

Here's what clothing colors have looked like recently in Milan:

Normally, I would be offended at a chart that combined as many colors as the ones above (or even a fraction of them). But that doesn't apply when what is being visualized is the color mix itself. Apparently, periwinkle is in right now in Milan. Who knew? Answer: Pimkie, and they are going to use this knowledge to try to get you to buy periwinkle colored clothing:

I still love it.


  1. This is super cool. Got me thinking about clothing. Wouldn't it be neat if you could do it by week or month and see weather during summer people wear more color and winter darker clothing. Or perhaps combine it with weather so if it's sunny vs cloudy/rainy.

  2. Love this. Although I jut don't think periwinkle is my color. Perhaps I need to move to Milan to be convinced :) BTW, when the app comes out, I may have to download it! Thanks for this post Cole.

  3. I'll be in Milan in a few weeks. Look for a big spike in Seattle White that day.

  4. Cool idea. Reminds me of work Viegas and Wattenberg did for Wired magazine covers. I find the ordering of the days of the week a bit odd, but I guess they wanted the most recent color set to appear on the left.

  5. 'Cool' is the word !

    The same study stretched over a timeline of say 'seasons' will be a great addition ....some thoughts for the analysts - market sentiments (indicators: macro economy / stock etc) vs color trend < any correlation would be interesting to study.

    Cheers !

  6. Buying something blue sounds like a good investment, you will be fashionable each day of the week lol :)

  7. In my fantasy life, I would wear Pimkie clothing all the time. But reality sets in and I can only afford a few nice things and sale items here. elvis jesus t shirts