Nubian Skin by Ade Hassan: How a Solution for Women Led to Partnering with Beyoncé

Black Women

Finding hosiery and lingerie for brown skin tones used to be very difficult. There was a time when “nude” only referred to “peachy” and “beige” skin tones.

After going to a store to buy bras for an annual sale, Tara Raines noticed that there wasn’t one brown bra available. She then came up with the idea to raise awareness and started a “What’s My Nude” campaign in 2012 along with the “Brown Bra Scavenger Hunt.”


Credit: Tara Raines

Credit: Tara Raines

In her xoJane essay, she wrote: “It brought back memories of my childhood, watching my mom dye my tights because manufacturers didn’t make them to match my skin color. And here I was, more than 20 years later still experiencing the same lack of inclusion being practiced by one of the largest lingerie stores in the U.S. How’s that for post-racial America?”

This campaign quickly gained attention from women all over who contacted lingerie brands and received no response. A year later, Ade Hassan, who had the same frustration, decided that it was a time to make the search easier for women. Headquartered in London, she then started the process to create a brand that was designed for them.

“In theory…It’s the grand debate, what do I wear under a white or sheer blouse? What colour hosiery will go with these amazing shoes? Black just isn’t going to work. The simple answer is nude. But my nude isn’t the nude I see in shops.

Despite the reality that women of colour have the same needs as all women when it comes to lingerie and hosiery (and spend the same of their hard-earned money), the industry simply doesn’t cater to us.

So, I thought, it’s time to rethink the definition of nude. Thus, Nubian Skin was born.” Ade Hassan, Nubian Skin Founder, Official Facebook Page

Credit: Nubian Skin @ Nordstrom

Credit: Nubian Skin @ Nordstrom

Nubian Skin gives you the option to shop by skin-tones and there are four major types: Berry, Cinnamon, Caramel and Cafe Au Lait. Hassan told LA Times that she always wanted to be an entrepreneur and loved fashion.

It took her a year to research popular colors among major brands for women of color and finalize the ones for Nubian Skin.

It has received a tremendous outpouring of support from celebrities like Kerry Washington, Thandie Newton and even Beyoncé, who is known for wearing bodysuits paired with statement heels during her live performances.


Credit: Nubian Skin

Credit: Nubian Skin

Hassan has provided Nubian Skin wear for Beyonce and her dancers, for the Formation World Tour and captured the process of getting everything set in her diary on the Nubian Skin site: “The past two months have been busy in a very work-centric way.

It’s been weeks of rolling up sleeves and getting to work. Nothing captures March and April like the images below. Lots of picking and packing (and pulling and dragging).

I’m anxiously anticipating the new product we’re trying to get out, so there have been lots of visits to factories and trying to refine our operations. All the while, trying to balance the rest of life. All in all, I’m feeling very blessed and excited for things to come.”

For more information/to purchase visit Nubian Skin.

It’s also available at Nordstrom!


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