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The Black & White of High-End Design

I am a woman and I like to shop. There, I said it. I feel much better. I have spent many, many years building my shopping skills and brand recognition expertise. In all those years, I’ve noticed a few things. Everyone copies each other. And when it comes to branding high-end products, a good place to start is black and white.

This use of an achromatic color palette embodies boldness and elegance. Black being the strength and white being the grace. It’s a winning combo for a brand that wants to feel classic and in command, yet fresh and clean.

Take for example most, if not all, luxury retail stores. Nordstoms.com, bloomingdales.com and bergdorfgoodman.com, all have a black and white (and some gray) theme with the occasional pop of brightly colored accents such as red or magenta. Not too far off from what we use here at AestheticCrit.com, eh? We want you to think we’re classy, too.

Nordstrom.com

Bergdorfgoodman.com

NeimanMarcus.com

Sephora.com

Besides higher-end retail stores, there are also fashion magazines that follow this same trend:

Vogue.com

There are many, many examples of top-tier brands using black and white. Here is one of my favorite shoe maker peeps, Dolce Vida:

DolceVida.com

And one of the most revered fashion houses, Dior:

Dior.com

Black and white is one of my favorite color palettes (or lack thereof). I find myself mostly buying black shoes and handbags. I also own a ton of white shirts. To me it says slick, sometimes edgy and oozes chic. It also goes with everything. The use of black and white in fashion lends itself nicely to showcasing beautiful photography, giving the image the spotlight it deserves.

What are some of your favorite black and white designs? Do you think it’s over used in fashion brands?

Comments

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  1. Marvin Moses says: July 8, 2012

    #1: Black and white IS mad classy. Case in point: HillsFarmacy.com is black and white, and the classiest website I know.

    #2: Black and white will only become classier. Why? Because ink on paper is the shiznizzle, and is most closely resembled by black and white text and photographs. The NY Times was way classier before they added color, though I do enjoy life-like photographic reproductions.

    #3: Jill is awesome. An aesthete of the highest caliber. Her criticism really hits the mark. ZIINNNNNNGGGGG! Keep schoolin’ us.

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