I don’t wear nude lingerie, but as a white woman if I wanted to it would be as simple as typing ‘nude bra’ into Google and ta-da, I’m presented with a bunch of bras that more or less match my skin tone:
But what about women whose skin isn’t this colour? In the lingerie industry, ‘nude’ has come to mean ‘beige’, which is far from helpful when looking for lingerie to match a not-beige skin tone. It’s not just a case of searching for brown lingerie either – for one thing, brown isn’t a particularly popular colour for fashion lingerie and the chances of stumbling across a bra you like that’s exactly your shade of brown are slim.
But all of that is about to change thanks to Nubian Skin, a line of solution lingerie designed specifically with the wants and needs of black women in mind. The debut collection, which launched this month, includes smooth t-shirt and strapless bras, a lacy push-up one, a range of matching knickers and two hosiery options. Everything is available in four shades, ranging from the light ‘cafe au lait’ to the dark ‘berry’.
All new lingerie brands bring something fresh to the industry, but Nubian Skin is particularly unique in that it’s filling a much-needed and long-overdue niche. “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,” says Ade, the founder and brainchild behind the brand, “[It’s all about] empowering women. Embracing our colour says it all. Women of colour are not well provided for when it comes to skin-tone lingerie and hosiery, and I wanted to create a brand that addressed that need.”
She came up with the idea close to four years ago, and in May 2013 finally decided it was the right time to start. When asked about why she thinks we’ve gotten as far as 2014 without multi-tonal nude lingerie being the norm, she replied “I can’t say for sure, but I imagine that the people who are making decisions about what is produced probably simply don’t think about it from the perspective of women of colour, so they haven’t realised there is a huge need for it.”
Recently, a few other companies have tried similar things, but Nubian Skin is the only brand that I have been able to find selling nude bras and knickers in shades as dark as their ‘berry’, and offering such a wide variety of such products too. As Ade puts it, “our range of colours were created with women of darker skin-tones in mind, so it’s a wider range for that audience to choose from [than our competitors offer]“.
Whilst the debut collection will be a godsend for many women, if your size range isn’t catered to or you don’t see an item you like, don’t rule Nubian Skin out just yet. The brand is already responding to customer feedback to expand their size range (you can fill out their more sizes survey now to let them know there is demand for your specific bra or dress size!) and Ade mentioned that the team “definitely have plans to expand the product range if all goes well. I have a whole host of items I’d like to see in nude!“.
So what are Ade’s long-term dreams and goals for the brand? “My dream is that Nubian Skin becomes a household name. I can’t wait for the day any woman of colour can walk into a department store and can pick up a pair of Nubian Skin tights or bra. I would love for finding a nude lingerie of hosiery offering for women of colour to be a given, a complete non-issue,” she says, and judging by all the great press and customer interest I’m seeing, I for one am confident that’s achievable.
Nubian Skin prices range from £29 to £39 for a bra, £10 to £15 for bottoms, and £10 to £12 for hosiery. You can see the full product range now on their website.
What do you think of Nubian Skin? What would you most like to see from this brand in the future?