There is still a long way to go, but there are some brands that are doing their part in including a broader range of shades in their ‘nude’ ranges. Our support is with them always. See the list below.
Having inclusive nude colours available is so important. Representation matters, especially in this instance.
The year was 2007, perhaps 2008 and the light peachy-beige tone otherwise known as the colour ‘nude’ (at the time) was most definitely having a moment. References bounced from magazine pages to group texts, our mobile phones repeatedly flipping open and snapping shut as we coordinated our plans and ensembles for the evening.
I distinctly remember using the phrases ‘Can I borrow your nude heels / lipstick / slip tonight?’ and it shocks me to think of how oblivious I was. Despite growing up as one of the only ‘brown girls' in my junior school I never caught myself questioning the colour of our coveted shoes, nail polishes or lip glosses. Like the rest of the world, I never paused for long enough to read the word for what it is - Nude, Naked, Flesh-tone and thereby flexible. The notion of this colour being fixed was simply a reflection of what was available at the time and how brands chose to market their product, showing just how significant the role of the fashion and media industries are in shaping our ideals and vocabulary.
With repetition, the term 'nude' became solidified in our minds as a beige-pink Pantone swatch, no where near in line with what the word itself was spelling out.
Circling further back to the years as a pocket-sized Ballerina, the uniform was light stockings and ‘nude’ shoes. As a child I didn’t question this nor did it bother me in the slightest, I simply fit in as best as I could and had a wonderful time. The question is not whether it will be damaging to a blissfully ignorant child, but rather how damaging our collective ignorance is for our future. How will we inspire change if so much flies under the radar, unnoticed and unquestioned? Our vocabulary towards colour - not just in skin tone but in fashion - underwear even, is important.
It was around 2015 when I ‘woke up’ to the incorrect vocabulary used when representing this colour. I read an interview with Christian Louboutin where he spoke about gifting his friends 3 types of shoes on a special occasion, one being a nude pair of heels that matches her skin tone. These are the designers we want to celebrate, those were awake and inclusive from the beginning and those who are making the conscious decision to begin to change, now.
10 brands with inclusive nude lingerie
5. SAVAGE x FENTY by Rihanna
10. SHADIE BY EA