Now that 2020 has been dispatched to the annals of history, we can look back on a year that was nothing if not turbulent – from COVID to the storming of the American Capitol; Black Lives Matter to iconic deaths like Kobe Bryant.
Against this backdrop of turmoil, Pantone chose Classic Blue for their Colour Of The Year last year, a prescient decision considering the virtues it symbolises – dependability, credibility and constancy – were in short supply during the rollercoaster ride of the last 12 months.
So as we look to a future finally devoid of Trump-tan orange, we’re incredibly excited to release Majorelle Blue, the most evocative shade we've ever produced.
INSPIRED BY MARRAKECH
In the early 1920’s the French artist Jacques Majorelle fell in love with the beautiful light and the vibrant colours of Morocco. He drew inspiration for his paintings from his trips around the country and especially Marrakech with its bustling street scenes, souks and kasbahs.
Whilst there was plenty of blue in his art, it was in 1924 that he embarked on the project from which he became synonymous – Le Jardín Majorelle in the heart of his adopted city, Marrakech.
‘[It] is a momentous task,’ he wrote, ‘to which I give myself entirely. It will take my last years from me and I will fall, exhausted, under its branches, after having given it all my love.’ – Jacques Majorelle
If your high school French is any good, you'll recognise that this is not a painting at all, but rather a garden (and house). Majorelle painted the walls, fountains, features and house itself an intense shade of blue, for which he later trademarked the name Majorelle Blue.
The Majorelle Garden became Jacques’ life work. He was obsessed with it and it became the creation of which he was most proud.
Tragically, Majorelle’s fortunes took a turn for the worse and he was forced to sell up in the 1950s. The house and gardens fell into disrepair, until none other than Yves Saint-Laurent and his partner Pierre Bergé restored the place in 1980. They lived there until his death in 2008 and YSL's ashes are scattered in garden.
Since then, the property has been run as an Islamic art museum.
AN ANCIENT LINEAGE
From a long lineage of blues traced back to the dazzling ultramarine of Lapis Lazuli.
The inspiration for this colour came from the cobalt blue used in the traditional Moroccan tiles and window decorations of Moroccan Kasbahs, as well as the majestic indigo seen in the veils of the Berbers.
The long lineage of blues in that part of the world can all be traced back to the dazzling ultramarine of Lapis Lazuli – a colour in so much demand during the 15th & 16th centuries that the stone became more expensive than gold and the Catholic Church would only allow it to be used in religious paintings depicting Mary, the mother of Jesus.
ENJOY FEELING BLUE
For us, blue has always been the most democratic of colours, transcending both gender and season which makes it easy to wear anytime and anywhere.
Depending on the shade, blue can mean pretty much all things to all people. The colour of the ocean and sky can symbolise serenity and inspiration, but it's also often seen to be calming, thus symbolising reliability and wisdom.
Whatever it means to you, Majorelle Blue is a celebration of everything that’s great about life – warm, sunny days of boundless optimism and high hopes.
It’s the spirit of adventure set against the throbbing hum of a Moroccan souk, with an exuberance that stands in stark contrast to the crappy year we’ve just had. So slip on a Majorelle Blue Tee and feel the urge to get out there and grab life by the cojones.
Majorelle Blue is a celebration of everything that’s great about life – warm, sunny days of boundless optimism and high hopes.