From high fashion models to female executives to stay at home moms to college students, Black and Brown hued women around the world have been frustrated for years about the lack of “nude” options that actually matches our various skin tones and shades. The standard “nude-colored” has never been flattering to most skin tones as it usually looks ashy or too light or dark and mis-matched against our skin.
Enter London-based designer, Ade Hassan, creator and mastermind behind Nubian Skin Lingerie. Hassan, who loves fashion was frustrated looking for nude pantyhose and always having to defaulting to black because the nude was not in her shade. Launched in October 2014, Nubian Skin is an all-inclusive lingerie brand that includes bras, panties, and hosiery that specifically comes in a variety of shades to match the all many shades of brown and black women in the world like Berry, Cinnamon, Caramel, or Café au Lait and ranges from $7 to $40.
Nude is different for everyone so all shades will never be created equal. Hassan had to have lots of conversations at makeup counters, with makeup artists and friends, while continuously testing her product to get it right.
In an interview with the LA Times, Hassan explained her process and some of the issues she faced behind finding the right tones:
“It took us about a year to finalize those colors. I started by going to makeup counters. I found as many brands as I could that had a decent offering for women of color. I went around with a Pantone [color] swatch and basically asked them, “What are your four most popular colors?” and matched the recurring colors to Pantone’s. I sent that off to the factory, got the first samples back and they were terrible. So, I was like, “Right, that’s not going to work.” At one point I literally took pots of foundation to the manufacturers to replicate.
It was a process in saying, “OK, I actually need a little bit more yellow in that, more red in that,” and having so many of my incredibly patient friends try things on over and over and over again. You’re never going to match everybody’s skin tone exactly but you can find something that disappears under sheer clothing and is a beautiful, complementary color.”
The brand’s philosophy of Empowering Women, Embracing our Color is very present in it’s imagery. The women in Nubian Skin’s photography are relatable and celebrates the many shades of women colors and now they are celebrating the various sizes that they come in as well with the newly launched line Curves.
The Curves line features plus size tights and hosiery that range from XL to 3XL n the same standard shades- what makes this line unique is it’s technology. Traditionally, plus sized hosiery is made using multiple panels- Nubian Skin uses Lycra Xceptionelle, which provides for extra stretch and volume for height and width. They also feature an anti-chafing panel, anti-roll waistband and a reinforced toe, which makes for a great pair of tights that fit well, are comfortable and look stylish.
Since it’s launch Nubian Skin has gained a cult following and high-profile following including Scandal star Kerry Washington and actresses Thandie Newton and Beyoncé, who recently enlisted them to provide the underwear for her and her dancers on the entire Formation World Tour.
“Beyoncé is a global phenomenon, and the fact that her team knows about our brand and have selected it is testament to the work we’re trying to do. It is such validation to see a squad of beautiful, brown women and know that Nubian Skin has a product which is allowing them to express that diversity to perfection.”
With it’s growing success, next up for the brand is developing the cup sizes of bras to offer a more comprehensive range that goes up to a G cup and will launch later this year.