Jay Z commissioned own colour
NEW YO R K Barbie has her own colour (pink). So does Tifany ( blue), Gap (also blue), Coach ( brown) and even the roly-poly Minions ( yellow), but rare is the individual who cares deeply enough about a shade to have one custom made.
At the Pantone Color Institute, the privilege doesn’t come cheap. It can cost tens of thousands of dollars for the company to come up with just the right one. So why would an actual person, rather than a business, even bother? Only two, at least in the Pantone client books, actually have.
Jay Z was the first, back in 2007. He introduced his “Jay Z” pearly blue — mixed with platinum dust — on a limited edition GMC Yukon Denali SUV later that year. The head of a marketing firm he was working with brought along a piece of the hip-hop mogul’s motorcycle as a guide for Pantone.
Blue (daughter Blue Ivy, blue jewels, blue jackets, the Blueprint albums) had been a favourite but his Pantone colour code name is confidential, said Laurie Pressman, a Pantone vice-president.
Who else has the colour honour with Jay Z? One Sherry Chris, president and chief executive of a New Jersey real estate firm, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate. She used a scarf at Pantone for her bright pink in 2011 and Chris couldn’t be prouder of her colour card: SC2011.
So what do they get besides a card and a code? They get formulas. How many and for what uses depends on what they want to do. Consistency is key.
“Both of them were very clear on what they wanted in their signature shades,” Pressman said. “When somebody comes with a very clear idea of what they’re looking for, that shade definitely has meaning for them.”
You can forget finding “Jay Z Blue” or SC2011 in any swatch or Pantone colour guide available for public consumption.
“Some people are really strict about that to the point where we’re not even allowed to share that we work with them on the development of that colour,” she said.
But Pressman has plenty of ways to describe Jay Z blue, a combination of sky and cobalt.
“I would describe that shade as a mesmerizing blue,” she said.
As for Chris, the real estate exec said she’s always been a hot pink person and that’s just what she got with SC2011, a vibrant hue with violet undertones.
It works, she said, “against my very pale Irish skin tone” and her platinum blond pixie haircut. She’s even arranged for an ofce chair in her signature pink to have its own Foursquare check in from headquarters in Madison, N.J.
“I wear a pop of pink every day. At first I thought, ‘ Well, do I really need this?’ Of course there are many things that you don’t need. It’s kind of a cool,” she said. “Just me and Jay Z.”