50 Shades of Nude: Your Guide to the Inclusive Lingerie & Dancewear Brands Addressing “Nude” For Every Skin Tone

Mia Pielle I 50 Shades of Nude: Your Guide to the Inclusive Lingerie & Dancewear Brands Addressing "Nude" For Every Skintone

These 7 brands are successfully spearheading nude for all.


Image courtesy Mia Pielle

“We women come in a wide range of skin tones, and we all deserve products that match our unique hue.” No-brainer as it may seem, this statement has taken the fashion world decades to catch up on – and is aptly put here by Atima Lui, Co-Founder of Mia Pielle: an algorithm-driven startup curating clothing, lingerie and accessories in shades of nude from around the web into a one-stop shopping destination.

Lui and a growing number of lingerie and dancewear brands are at the forefront of leading the long-overdue paradigm shift of addressing nude for all. By definition, nude means “wearing no clothes; naked; flesh color.” And up until recently, the fashion industry has equated that color to variations on a peachy, light beige notably excluding women of color, not to mention women of any other skin tone aside from a brand’s chosen shade of the singular hue.

Banishing beige as the default nude once and for all, here are 7 brands making it possible for women of all skin tones to truly find their nude.

Nubian Skin

Frustrated by the lack of skin-tone choices in lingerie for women of color, British entrepreneur Ade Hassan effectively redefined the definition of nude when she launched Nubian Skin in 2014. Based in the UK and shipping worldwide, the brand offers lingerie and hosiery in 4 shades ranging from Berry to Cinnamon – including a recently introduced Curve hosiery line available up to size 3XL. In addition to the media whirlwind Nubian Skin created upon its launch, it’s grabbed the attention of a few notable names including Kerry Washington and Queen Bey herself. No big deal.

[Related: Wearing a Bra? You’re Probably Making At Least 1 of These 9 Common Bra Mistakes Right Now]

Nude Barre

The 1st hosiery line exclusively dedicated to women of color, the idea for Nude Barre originated in 2009 from Dancer-turned-Entrepreneur Erin Carpenter. Growing tired of the painstaking process of dying her tights to match her skin tone, The Dance Theater of Harlem, Alvin Ailey and Knicks City Dancer alum knew there had to be a better way – and she created it. Now, Nude Barre offers 6 styles of Tights along with a Multi-Way Bra and Seamless Thong in 12 shades from Lycheetini to Mocha. Plus, most of the fabrics used to make Nude Barre styles are eco-friendly or made via an eco-friendly process.

Nudz

Following a successful Kickstarter campaign helmed by Founder/Designer Sheila Donaldson, Nudz launches for summer ’16 with the debut collection “The New Nudes.” A Convertible Strapless Bra, Thong, Bikini and Hipster are available in 10 shades of nude covering a wide range of skin tones – the most comprehensive range we’ve seen. Each shade is cheekily named after a celebrity, such as Scarlett, Lupita, Kerry and Sofia.

[Related: The Debate: Should You Wear Your Bra While Sleeping?]

Hanro

Come mid-July lingerie & loungewear staple Hanro is releasing an Invisible Cotton Collection,  featuring 4 underwear silhouettes in 5 shades of nude. The hems of the Thong, Brazilian, Hi-Cut Brief and Full Brief are cut, not sewn, meaning truly seamless, skin-tone skivvies ensuring invisibility under tight-fitting clothing and thin fabrics.

Mahogany Blues

Former swimwear designer Whitney Bracey originally developed the idea for Mahogany Blues after friend TaKiyah Wallace, Founder of Brown Girls Do Ballet, revealed that the dance industry was seriously lacking in nude leotards for women of color. As in, none existed unless you dyed one to match your skin tone. Taking matters into her own hands, Bracey launched Mahogany Blues in 2015 to 3 leotard silhouettes available in both adult and youth sizing, in 4 shades of nude: Amina, Mulan, Jasmine and Tiana. Two more shades are planned to debut by next year, as well as a range of bra tops and boy shorts. Plus – the brand gives back by choosing a dance studio or company to sponsor each year.

[Related: Shop for a Cause: 5 Lingerie & Loungewear Brands Empowering Women Worldwide]

Naja

Female empowering Naja is another lingerie brand leading the #nudeforall mission, who employs fair-trade manufacturing practices for a majority single-mother workforce out of their Colombia factory. Helmed by Founder Catalina Girald and Actress-Business Partner Gina Rodriguez (you might know her from the CW’s Jane the Virgin), the power duo’s “Nude for All” collection launched earlier this summer featuring a Bra, Thong, Bikini and High Waist Brief in 7 shades of nude. Accompanying the launch? An empowering x immersive subway campaign encouraging New Yorkers to “Find Their Nude.”

Björn Borg 

Launched on March 21st of this year to coincide with the UN’s International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, Swedish brand Björn Borg launched a “Skin Collection” as a tribute to human rights and equality for all. The collection features a Hotpant silhouette for women as well as a Boxer Brief for men, available in 6 shades following the Fitzpatrick scale – a skin classification system developed in 1975 by Harvard Dermatologist Thomas B. Fitzpatrick. (Your emojis are also based on this system, btw.)