Red Carpet Alert: Pink!

K. Carroll Accessories Pink

If you watched the Oscars this week, then you know that pink, especially bright pink, was all the rage! From Julia Roberts’ one shoulder elegance to Jason Momoa’s pink velvet suit (including a matching scrunchie), it was the color of the evening. Want to see all the looks? Click here to see the best of the night!

This got us thinking…why has pink always been so popular? From Elvis Presley’s pink Cadillac to Marilyn Monroe’s pink dress in “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes”, pink seems to often be in the spotlight. Pink was even the recent subject of an exhibition at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York entitled “Pink: The History of a Punk, Pretty, Powerful Color”.

So, here’s what we discovered: Pink first became fashionable in the 18th century when European aristocrats, both men and women, wore different shades of pink as a symbol of luxury and class. Pink is known to been championed by Madame de Pompadour, the mistress of King Louis XV of France. At that time, pink was not considered a “girls” color. Infants of both sexes were dressed in white because before the invention of chemical dyes, clothing of any color would fade when washing in boiling water. The tint was, in fact, often considered more appropriate for little boys because it was seen as a paler shade of red, which had “masculine” military undertones. It wasn’t until the mid-19th century that men in the Western world started wearing more dark somber colors, leaving the brighter and pastel options to their female counterparts.

The perception of pink continued to change through the 1900’s, starting with the invention of chemical dyes that did not fade. The pioneer in the creation of the new wave of pinks was the Italian designer Elsa Schiaparelli. In 1931 she created a new variety of the color, called shocking pink, made by mixing magenta with a small amount of white. By the 1950’s, pink had become more gender-coded than ever thanks to branding and marketing in postwar America that used it as a symbol of ultimate femininity, creating the “pink for girls, blue for boys” stereotype. The key turning point seemed to be in 1953 at the US presidential inauguration of Dwight D. Eisenhower when his wife, Mamie, wore a pink dress as her inaugural gown. This led to the public association of pink being a color “ladylike women wear.”

Pink regained some of its allure around the 1960’s, when public figures such as Jackie Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe adopted it as a mark of luxury. Punk bands like The Ramones and The Clash made it edgier in the 1980’s, while in more recent decades, pop, celebrity and hip-hop cultures have embraced the color in different ways – from Madonna performing a pink bustier in 1990 to rapper Cam’ron attending New York Fashion week in a pink mind coat and matching hat in 2002, helping to show that pink could again be considered a men’s color.

We’ve been a fan of the color pink for a while too. Here are some of our “pink creations” that we think you’ll enjoy as well!

K. Carroll Accessories Pink Bags
Ann Tote                                  Madison Hobo                 Striped Canvas Bucket
Quilted Crossbody                 Blake Crossbody                 Frida Crossbody





Sources:  Refined, rebellious and not just for girls:  A cultural history of pink.  Pink 



Dianne Boyer