We’re going through a nude revolution in fashion. It’s thanks to the emergence of brands offering wares in a range of colors that go beyond the fashion industry’s narrow definition of “nude” — which left out anyone that was lighter or darker than that peachy shade (you know the one).
U.K.-based lingerie brand Nubian Skin is one of the labels that has been most celebrated for offering different shades of nude. The brand Ade Hassan built caters to women of color, offering nudes in shades from tan (Café au Lait) to deep, rich, dark brown (Berry). Beyoncé has already given the label her blessing, choosing to wear its underwear for her “Formation” tour last year.
Now Nubian Skin joins brands like Christian Louboutin and Kahmune in the nude shoe market. By launching its first footwear line, on Tuesday, it helps expand the offerings with its pointed-toe heels ($130) and ballet flats ($99), in four shades of nude, both with leather uppers, available in U.S. sizes 5 to 11.5.
We asked Hassan for the lowdown on her brand’s latest.
Yahoo Style: What made you guys decide to delve into footwear?
Ade Hassan: It’s been a thought for a while now! Our mission has always been redefining nude, so we’ve always noticed areas of fashion that weren’t particularly diverse with “nude.” As a fashion brand, it is always important to innovate, and shoes seemed like the perfect next step.
You’ve launched a new shade of nude. Can you tell us a little bit about that and how you arrived at the particular color? Did you do a test on real women?
We have indeed, and we’re really excited about it! We’ve met a lot of women at shows and pop-ups who have asked if we had any lighter shades, which we unfortunately didn’t at the time. We have always said we would add a color if the demand was there, and we feel it is, so we’ve added the color Champagne to our shoe collection to see how it goes.
What about designing nude-hued footwear might other brands sometimes get wrong? And how did you try to remedy that with this line?
I’m not sure anyone has got anything wrong. We wanted to create an extension of our current collection. Our customers are incredibly vocal, and we feel as though we’ve really gotten to know them over the past few years. We’ve created the collection because we feel there’s a need, and we really hope it’s something they’ll love.
Were there any difficulties in perfecting the shades? What did you have to take into consideration when you were making them?
Initially, with the lingerie, yes — we had to actually create the colors, and custom dye them, which took a long time. The shoes were a little easier, as we were matching leathers to colors that we had already created with the initial collection.
There have been a few footwear brands that have tried to create “nudes for all” or “nudes for darker women.” What sets yours apart?
Back in 2014 we brought a truly innovative product to the market, which was much needed — not just as a fashion necessity, but also on a social level. Within the lingerie industry, the scope for innovation is a bit limited, and we managed to do something that had an impact beyond itself. Redefining “nude” and making the term more inclusive meant our campaign went viral, and has had an influence — not just in terms of copycats (from smaller to well-known brands), but also with other parts of the industry realizing the need to be more inclusive.
Are there any plans for even more shades?
We’re always listening, so we’ll see!
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