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Do you like the color black? I can almost guarantee it’s a huge part of your wardrobe, from your go-to lounge leggings to your autumn leather jacket to your night-out LBD. Jet black is a respected style staple, and these fashion quotes about the color black prove it’s as beloved in the world of high fashion as it is in terms of daily dressing and street style.
Yes, black is a flattering color to wear, but more importantly, it’s a chic one. It makes an outfit of basics appear elevated or a bold, avant-garde look still approachable. No other color conveys as many contradictions as the color black, and that’s probably why it’s arguably the most-loved color in fashion—and the reason there are so many quotes about it. Bet you’re looking at those well-loved black leggings with a little more respect now, aren’t you?
That said, not everyone feels the same about this raven hue. Culturally, there are a lot of differences in how the shade has been interpreted. While black has long been a signifier for mourning in Western culture, the Japanese see it as a color that represents seniority and experience. Black isn’t just a dark color; it’s a color with depth, a depth that many designers have dedicated their careers to exploring and unpacking.
Tons of designers, tastemakers and editors alike have all waxed poetic on the color, and so many of these musings have become iconic quotes. Read on for 15 of our favorites, and next time you find yourself unsure of what to wear, trust the fashion pros and opt for all black.
1. “Women who wear black lead colorful lives.” – Neiman Marcus
2. “I wore black because I liked it. I still do and wearing it still means something to me. It’s still my symbol of rebellion—against a stagnant status quo, against our hypocritical houses of God, against people whose minds are closed to others’ ideas.” – Johnny Cash
3. “You can wear black at any time. You can wear it at any age. You may wear it for almost any occasion; a ‘little black frock’ is essential to a woman’s wardrobe.” – Christian Dior
4. “Black is the hardest color in the world to get right—except for gray…” – Diana Vreeland
5. “Women think of all colors except the absence of color. I have said that black has it all. White, too. Their beauty is absolute. It is the perfect harmony.” – Coco Chanel
6. “You can have any color, as long as it’s black.” – Henry Ford
7. “Black is always elegant. It is the most complete color in the whole world, made of all the colors in the palette.” – Ricardo Tisci
8. “I work in three shades of black.” – Rei Kawakubo
9. “But when I fell in love with black, it contained all color. It wasn’t a negation of color. It was an acceptance. Because black encompasses all colors. Black is the most aristocratic color of all …You can be quiet, and it contains the whole thing.” – Louise Nevelson
10. “I’ve been 40 years discovering that the queen of all colors was black.” – Pierre-August Renoir
11. “Black is not sad. Bright colors are what depresses me. They’re so…empty. Black is poetic. How do you imagine a poet? In a bright yellow jacket? Probably not.” – Ann Demeulemeester
12. “Black is modest and arrogant at the same time. Black is lazy and easy—but mysterious. But above all, black says this: I don’t bother you—don’t bother me.” – Yohji Yamamoto
13. “One is never over- or underdressed with a little black dress.” – Karl Lagerfeld
14. “I love black because it affirms, designs, and styles. A woman in a black dress is a pencil stroke.” – Yves Saint Laurent
15. “I think in black.” – Gareth Pugh
A version of this article appeared in May 2016.