“In order to make money… TRULY make money… you have to do two things: Sell something that makes people’s lives easier, and do it at a price point where people don’t feel like they have to spend too much to get it.”-‘Mr. Wonderful’ (Shark Tank)
The creator of Nubian Skin has introduced something so wonderfully simple and so desperately needed, the true crime is that someone didn’t come up with it sooner and commit to the idea long enough for it to take hold. In a world where brown skin is anything but just… BROWN… Ade Hassan is addressing the need for nude lingerie to flatter every hue.
SAID: They say necessity is the mother of invention. What is your personal experience with shopping for nude lingerie as a woman of color?
Hassan: 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.
SAID: When did you decide that enough was enough, and take the plunge to start your own company?
Hassan: 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. I had several ideas in the past, but ultimately this idea truly stuck. It was so essential for me, and I figured it had to be something other women of color would want.
SAID: Did you find starting your own company challenging? How did you overcome those challenges?
Hassan: 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. Others were looking for incredibly high volumes, so it was tricky. Once you actually secure a manufacturer, it’s always a battle to manage expectations.
SAID: People of color come in a myriad of hues, with special shades and undertones that are unique and often individual. How do you adjust for this need when you source fabrics/materials/shades for different skin tones?
Hassan: More than a year’s worth of research went into the color selection. No fabric will match anyone’s skin-tone exactly. But the aim of having ‘a different kind of nude’ is for women of color to have lingerie and hosiery that looks close to their skin colour and disappears under sheer or light colored clothing. After a lot of research at make up counters and artists, and testing on countless women, we decided four colors would cover the majority of our target market.
SAID: Where is your largest market to date?
Hassan: Our largest market is in the United States. After that it is the United Kingdom and Europe. We’ve had orders from as far away as Australia.
SAID: Who wears Nubian Skin?
Hassan: Age, income, education isn’t so much the priority. It’s a woman who cares about how she looks, and how she expresses herself and isn’t willing to settle. She knows what she wants, and she goes for it.
Hassan: We received a tweet from Kerry Washington when we first launched. We’ve also had support from Thandie Newton!
SAID: How does one care for your beautiful garments, to ensure they last as long as possible?
Hassan: NEVER put your lingerie in the dryer!
SAID: What does the future hold for Nubian Skin?
Hassan: We have listened to our customers and will be releasing larger back sizes this Spring. Larger cup sizes will be available this Autumn. We also have some exciting products in the pipeline!
My dream is that Nubian Skin becomes a household name. I can’t wait for the day any woman of color walks into a department store and can pick up a pair of Nubian Skin tights or bra.