The new nude

With beauty brands catering for a wider range of skin tones than ever be­fore, Deputy Fash­ion News Editor Han­nah asks why is fash­ion prov­ing so slow to catch on?


Throw ‘nude fash­ion’ into any search bar and you’ll likely be met with ap­prox­i­mately 505 shades of beige. There’s no get­ting around it: even in 2016, ‘nude’ is syn­ony­mous with white skin.

I con­sider fash­ion and beauty to be two of the world’s big­gest uni­fiers and – used in the right way – I be­lieve fash­ion can be more rev­o­lu­tion­ary than per­haps any of us re­alises (here’s look­ing at you, Coco Chanel vs the dreaded corset). So why is fash­ion fail­ing to recog­nise some­thing as ba­sic as our skin tone?

In com­par­i­son, the beauty in­dus­try seems light years ahead – L’oréal be­ing the lat­est brand to ex­tend its True Match foun­da­tion range to 23 shades – re­joice!

Don’t get me wrong, some brands are cham­pi­oning di­ver­sity. French fash­ion house Chris­tian Louboutin looked poised to sow the seeds of change back in 2013, de­but­ing a shoe col­lec­tion in a re­fresh­ing spec­trum of skin tones be­fore fur­ther ex­pand­ing the range into bal­let flats early this year.

On the UK high street, LK Ben­nett has long led the charge with record sales of its best­selling heels, the all-in­clu­sive Flo­ret and Trench nude courts. In turn, lin­gerie start-up Naja launched its ‘Nude For All’ cam­paign this year, stat­ing: ‘It’s time to change the idea that there is only one nude’.

But while Louboutin and Naja’s cam­paign shoots il­lus­trate a very real rep­re­sen­ta­tion of our world of di­ver­sity, surely it’s about time ev­ery­one else caught on? Be­cause who can deny the looks (above) are far more in­ter­est­ing and beau­ti­ful be­cause they’re just so real.

Is it fi­nally time for a new nude? Def­i­nitely. As Mr Louboutin says: ‘Nude is not a colour, it’s a con­cept.’ Now we just need our favourite brands to fol­low suit too.

Naja launched its Nude For All cam­paign in May

‘I found the dream nude vest from asos in a colour called “Mush­room” a few years back and bought it 22 times over. It’s been dis­con­tin­ued and I haven’t found a wor­thy suc­ces­sor.’ o n e w s d E

‘I’ve been on the hunt for a nude bra to match my skin tone for the best part of 10 years. If by some mir­a­cle I do find one that suits, it never goes up to my size. I’m des­per­ate to find one!’

‘three words for you: Marks & spencer! Its nude bra and pants combo is the best I’ve tried – granted they’re not sexy, but it works for me.’

‘Calvin Klein has a push- up bra that blends in seam­lessly with my pale skin – pricey, yes, but yet to be matched else­where.’

‘I buy nude biki­nis from us brand nasty Gal – they’re not undies but I still feel amaz­ing ev­ery time I wear them.’

Trench court in Fern £195 Flo­ret court in Win­ter Rose

£175 both LK Ben­nett

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