The Nude Revolution!
When I first saw the Nubian Skin quartet (see below) in the social media sphere last year, I was super excited!
Finally, someone had taken the step to create a brand to meet a demand – ‘nude’ underwear for the Woman of Colour.
This ‘someone’ is Ade Hassan, an ex financier based here in the UK (whoop!), who decided to follow her dreams and create Nubian Skin Lingerie.
This market category was showcased AND validated recently on a major British prime time TV show, thus I have no doubt that Nubian Skin will go on to become a success!
I caught up with Ade to ask her a few questions about the business, its rapid rise prominence and the plans for the future.
BPL: What was the motivation behind starting Nubian Skin Lingere?
AH: Nubian Skin was essentially born out of frustration. I wanted a product that I couldn’t find in shops, so I decided to create it. I knew I couldn’t be the only one who felt the same way.
BPL: What experience if any, did you have of the underwear and hosiery industry? How did this impact your launch?
AH: Before starting Nubian Skin, I worked mainly in the financial services industry. I’ve always wanted to be an entrepreneur and I’ve always wanted my business to be fashion related. When I took 15 months off work several years ago, I decided to take sewing and pattern cutting classes, which I really enjoyed. I have had several ideas in the past and a few that I looked into moving forward with, but ultimately when this idea came into my head, it truly stuck. I realised it was something I needed and was so essential and that it had to be something other women of colour would want as well. The biggest hurdle to overcome at the start was finding a good quality manufacturer. As a new and small business, a lot of manufacturers simply didn’t respond to queries, whilst others were looking for incredibly high volumes, so it was tricky. and one you actually secure a manufacturer, it’s always a battle to manage expectations.
BPL: You have secured a colossal amount of PR and press attention since launch – what advice would you give tips would you give to other start ups on how to achieve success in this area?
AH: We have been incredibly fortunate to have received the press we have so far, because we couldn’t have paid for it and it happened organically. My advice to others starting up would be to make sure your campaign truly gets across the essence of your brand and, if you are like us, you don’t have a large budget for advertising, engage with people through social media. If you can get bloggers on board then do so, because they can be amazing advocates. It’s important to hustle, send out your media kit to magazines, newspapers and any communication you’d like to be seen in. The worst they can say is no.
BPL: It is great to see the brand on ASOS! What was the pitching process like? What 3 things would you say are indispensable to delivering a quality pitch?
AH: ASOS approached us prior to our launch after hearing about us in an article. I went to the meeting prepared with our look book, pricing and just generally prepped with all the information that I knew would be important to them. I did have a bit of a geek-out moment walking through their offices, there were clothes and shoes everywhere! It’s really an amazing company. The three things that I would say are important when pitching are: 1. Know your product 2. Take samples 3. Be confident
BPL: What can we expect from Nubian Skin Lingerie in the near future?
We have listened to our customers and will be releasing larger back sizes this Spring. Larger cup sizes will be available this Autumn.
My dream is that Nubian Skin becomes a household name. I can’t wait for the day any woman of colour walks into a department store and can pick up a pair of Nubian Skin tights or bra.
My Nubian Skin experience!
The lovely ladies at the Nubian Skin HQ sent me a pair of the tights and hold ups in Cinnamon to road test earlier this year! Both items come in a matt, 10 denier finish and in the sizes small, medium and large.
I was very impressed with the colour match, although I do prefer a gloss finish to my hosiery. I really liked the hold ups. I have to admit, I had never worn hold ups prior to this – but I found the elasticated band had enough grip to sty up for the fort 2 to 3 wears but after this it had stretched so a suspender belt would be required.
The tights were of a good quality, but like the request for larger back and cup sizes, I would have to request larger sizes for the tights – fitting my ‘curves’ into anything smaller than XL in tights has always been an issue! So if you are curvy like me, you would probably be better off with the hold up for now…
All in all though, the hosiery is a god send, the price is reasonable and the delivery was fast! Grab a few pairs for the transitional Spring season!