For as long as we have known, mainstream society, and in particular the fashion industry has overlooked black women’s needs. Ignoring our curves, our wants and desires and most obviously our skin colour, they tend to stick to a ‘one-colour-fits-all’ model even though 85% of the world’s women aren’t ‘beige’. A few start-ups and female entrepreneurs have tried to change this, but now lawyer/fashion designer Nadine Ndjoko-Peisker is pivoting her already successful nude hosiery brand, OwnBrown, to include four nude shades of lingerie too.
OwnBrown currently sells nude tights to a global audience covering the UK, EU, USA and Africa. The four shades cater to a wide range of skin colours from the lightest shade Amani which could be described as cafe latte through to Bintu, a caramel shade, to Kimya, which is a milk chocolate, all the way to the darkest shade Yemoya. The lingerie will cover all four of these shades and will also be available in two designs. The bras come either as underwired bras or triangle (aka bralette) bras and are made of quality tulle fabric meaning the lingerie is lightweight, comfortable and breathable, whilst still maintaining a class of elegance. The panties are sold either as a high waist brief or a thong. OwnBrown will sell the lingerie both as single items or in mix and match sets.
Nadine, CEO of OwnBrown says “OwnBrown was born out of frustration back in 2015. I could not find skin coloured tights to wear to court, let alone skin coloured lingerie to wear under professional dresses or white shirts. As one of the few black female lawyers in Switzerland, I did not want to be seen for my body, nor show off my underwear in such an environment. I wanted to be seen as and treated as professional as my male and female counterparts. I trawled through all major retailers to try and find a lingerie that fit my skin tone and found nothing.”
There are more than 400 major players in the lingerie world, yet the availability of nude lingerie for women of colour is still low. Others have tried before to bring nude lingerie to the mainstream market and some have been successful. However, this is the first time it will be so readily available in the UK and EU. OwnBrown has decided to crowdfund their first round of production in a bid to foster a community of women who all want to be a part of the change that will overtime benefit us all. OwnBrown aims to raise £20,000 over the next month in order to produce their four shades, with extra funds raised going towards the launch of a curvy line. They have so far raised 37% of their funding and also showcased their product at a successful pop up market on Saturday in London.
Ivy Ekong, a fashion designer and owner of fashion boutique Ivy Ekong Fashion says “The lingerie OwnBrown has created is lovely. Especially the pants, they’ll become an essential to every girls wardrobes”.
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