In shades ranging from ‘Cafe Au Lait’ to ‘Berry’
When it comes to concealing your unmentionables beneath revealing clothing such as a sheer formal gown or see-through top, nude undergarments are a must. But for women of color, finding nude lingerie has been a difficult if not impossible fashion task, especially if your skin is in the deeper hues. Now, this fashion dilemma is a thing of the past thanks to Ade Hassan, who left the financial services industry to found Nubian Skin, a line of nude lingerie including bras, panties, and coming soon hosiery in shades ranging from a pale cafe au lait to a deep berry. I recently caught up with the London-based designer to discuss her new company and line of colorful nude lingerie.
Was there a defining moment that inspired the Nubian Skin lingerie line?
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 believe other companies have not created nude lingerie for women of color?
I think perhaps the people making the decisions about what is created simply don’t have that perspective. Often, you have to deal with the problem yourself to come up with a solution.
How do you believe Nubian Skin will revolutionize lingerie for women of color?
First of all, it caters to a much neglected market, so I think that’s so important. Secondly, I believe it will allow women of colour to remove limitations they may have previously faced when doing something as simple as wearing clothes. Finally, I really hope it allows those women to understand how beautiful their skin is and that it deserves to be catered to.
Why does every girl of color need lingerie from Nubian Skin?
So [she] can express [herself] through fashion without the limitation of worrying about a bra strap in the wrong colour.
You have a philosophy of “Empowering women. Embracing Our Colour.” Could you explain?
Pretty much what it says on the tin. I want women to really embrace their colour because no matter what shade you are, it’s beautiful, and that is a very empowering concept.
Is there a methodology for choosing a nude color palette?
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.
Can you share a tip for selecting perfect-fit undergarments?
Get the fit right and make sure you’re comfortable. Every bra and every brand fits differently, it’s important to make sure you get a style and size that works well for you.
What has been the most exciting moment for Nubian Skin?
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.”
What’s an undergarment faux pas that ladies should avoid?
To each their own. But there’s now no reason not to have correct shade of nude!
What’s next for Nubian Skin?
We’re looking forward to expanding size and product range. We’d also love to get into department stores. I can’t wait for the day any woman of colour walks into a department store and can pick up a pair of Nubian Skin tights or bra.
If you were a Chic Spy Agent, what would be your code name?
From top: Nubian Skin Essential T-shirt bra and brief in Cafe Au Lait; Classic lace push-up bra and short in Caramel; Essential T-shirt bra and brief in Cinnamon; and Classic lace push-up bra and short in Berry