In October 2014, lingerie company Nubian Skin launched with one simple aim - to provide us ladies with 'a different kind of nude.' I remember first coming across Nubian skin on Instagram a couple of weeks before its launch and immediately thought 'oh my goodness, this is amazing!!' instantly followed by a sigh of 'why has this not been done before??' You see, I've never thought to own skin coloured underwear or a nude pair of tights simply because the word 'nude' in the fashion industry never applied to me. Skin coloured tights never went so far as to include my skin tone and if I wanted nude, I had to brave the cold and go tight-less or mess around with strapless bras and suitable enough dresses. This doesn't just apply to underwear and goes right through to makeup and even lack of representation in magazine pages and I know that, on the other side of the spectrum, those with pale skin have this exact same issue. The reason why is because 'nude' or anything that claims to 'blend in with your skintone' tends to sit comfortably in the middle; neutral without daring to go darker or paler but now with the introduction of Nubian Skin, this is all set to change. OHHH YEEAAAH. Nubian skin is more than just brown underwear, it perfectly matches skin tones of women of colour, allowing us to wear that dress without ruining the look with a pair of black tights or to hit the town with a sheer top and not worry about an obvious black bra underneath. Basically, it's genius and I am so happy it exists. So, to find out more, I decided to ask founder, Ade Hassan, some questions on Nubian Skin, diversity in the fashion industry and get her opinions on the blogging community.
Hello Ade! Could you tell us a bit about yourself?
I’m 30 years old and live in London. Before starting Nubian Skin, I worked mainly in the financial services industry, so it’s been quite a change!
How and why did you decide to start Nubian Skin?
Nubian Skin was essentially born out of frustration. I wanted a product that I couldn't find in shops, so I decided to create it. I knew I couldn't be the only one who felt the same way.
Why do you think it has taken this long for the term 'Nude' to include a wider range of skin tones?I believe a lot of this has to do with who the decision makers in the room are and their personal experience. The reality is a lot of the people making these decisions, probably don’t have the issue of finding a nude bra or hosiery that matches their skin tone.
What do you think this says about diversity in the Fashion industry?There is always progress to be made, and I believe the fashion industry will get there. I think part of it is realising that if you give people what they need, they will support you.
Do you think the blogging and YouTube world has had an impact on diversity in the fashion and beauty industry?Blogging and YouTube has given people a platform to express themselves to whoever will listen, and I think this has a positive impact on diversity in the fashion and beauty industry. All of a sudden a woman in Manchester, UK can voice her frustration or champion a brand that works for her, and she realises that there are women in New York, Atlanta, Lagos, Paris etc. who all feel the same, and that can start a movement.
How do you get the colours just right?
Over a year’s worth of research went into the colour selection. No fabric will match anyone’s skin-tone exactly, but the aim of having “a different kind of nude” is for women of colour to have lingerie and hosiery that looks close to their skin colour and disappears under sheer or light coloured clothing. After a lot of talks with make up counters and artists and testing on countless women, we decided four colours would cover the majority of our target market.
The response leading up to the launch of Nubian Skin has been amazing! How has it made you feel?
We have been truly overwhelmed by the support from different communities of colour and the mainstream media. It’s been wonderful to see how supportive so many women have been, and it’s amazing to get emails from women across the world just saying “thank you”.
And finally, which women do you look to for inspiration the most?My mother. I think the world of her, and she’s my biggest champion.
So, there we have it! A lingerie company offering us a different kind of nude. Make sure to check out the entire Nubian Skin collection here and if you want to know more, check out the behind the scenes video. Also it's recently been announced that Nubian Skin will be stocked at ASOS which is super cool. Oh, and one last thing, Nubian Skin are currently expanding their size range, which you can read about here. Ok, I think that's everything! Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to go and place a very big order...