Nubian Skin made waves across the lingerie world when it launched in 2014. It triggered an industry-wide interest in intimates for people of color, previously a woefully underserved market. Brands have of course always made the odd brown bra here and there. But rarely were they marketed as a ‘nude’ option or photographed on models with skin tones to match.
But then along came Nubian Skin, a lingerie brand that was specifically targeting women of color. Within a year of launching, it had been picked up by online retail giant Nordstrom. Within two, you saw the likes of Beyoncé wearing it. And after three the founder, Ade Hassan, received an MBE from Buckingham Palace in the UK for her services to fashion.
Nubian Skin founder, Ade Hassan MBE
Encouraged by Nubian Skin’s phenomenal success, lingerie brands everywhere clamored to release their own ‘nudes for all’ ranges. Only time will tell how many are permanent offerings, and which are one-offs designed more for PR coverage than anything else. But one thing is for sure, Nubian Skin is here to stay. “We started a movement when we launched Nubian Skin,” said Hassan, “and we want people to know that for us, this is simply not a trend.”
The brand debuted with a range of everyday lingerie and hosiery. Next came Moroccan Nights, a lacy, made-in-Africa collection in shades of black and blue. Then they launched shoes and a now sold-out collaboration with D Bleu Dazzled.
But most recently, Nubian Skin has returned to what it is best known for with The Naked Collection. Made from European microfiber, it takes the idea of ‘barely there’ lingerie to a whole other level. Their designs don't just blend with your skin tone but offer a completely smooth silhouette too.
Included in the range are a bodysuit, slip, and camisole with raw-cut, seam-free edging. The fabric is also 38% elastane, to skim snugly but comfortably around your curves. As soft as they are sleek, these pieces are ideal to wear not just as underwear but for lounging around at home too. Take the slip for example---by day, the perfect nude lining for a semi-sheer dress. By night, an ultra-comfy nightie.
Also in The Naked Collection are a bandeau, four brief and thong styles, and a wired bra. That last one comes in two versions. One has completely seamless cups. The other, The Naked Fuller-Bust Bra, retains the same minimalist aesthetic but has 3-part seaming to increase support for fuller busts. It’s this bra that marks Nubian Skin’s first significant entry into the plus-size-and-full-busted market. Sizing runs up to a 40 band and a G cup!
Everything in The Naked Collection is available in the brand’s four signature shades: Berry, Cinnamon, Caramel and Café Au Lait. Wear foundation? There’s a makeup-matching guide on their website to help you find your ideal shade. And if you live in London, the brand recently opened a showroom where you can be privately fit and color-matched by a professional.
Nubian Skin’s new showroom in Tottenham Court, London
Nubian Skin aspires to be the brand that all women of color can turn to when they need some nude-tone underthings. And they are indeed making significant strides in that direction.
It’s not just that they’re growing ever-more inclusive with their sizing. It’s also that now, Nubian Skin offers something for every occasion. From the office to the boudoir and now even to casual Sundays spent lounging on your sofa, they’re creating underwear and loungewear for every moment of the day. I can’t wait to see what’s next!
What would you love to see Nubian Skin launch in the future? What do you think of the collections released to date? And if you’ve bought from the brand, how was your experience?