Fashion and Diversity: Why “Nude” Is Being Redefined

inclusive fashion the new nude

When someone refers to a “nude” clothing item, what do you think of? Nude has always meant one thing in fashion: It has always referred to a light beige/cream shade that typically matches the skin tone of most white women. Well, that idea is about to change – and rightfully so. With more and more women of color excelling in the fashion industry, as both designers and models, the idea of “nude” is being redefined. What exactly does that mean?

Why “Nude” Clothing Is Being Redefined

First of all, what does nude even mean? As an adjective, the word nude refers to being naked, in one’s natural state. In terms of fashion, the word nude is defined as “a clothing item that resembles the wearer’s skin tone.” This brings us to the exact reason that nude must be redefined in fashion. For as long as anyone can remember, nude clothing items have all been a similar shade of lighter beige/cream/tan. So when a woman with a lighter complexion is looking for something nude to wear, she has endless options. But where does that leave women of color?

nubian clothing nudes woc

Nubian Skin is just one of numerous brands creating nude clothing items for women of color.

For way too long, women of color have not had options for nude clothing. Their skin tones have not been reflected in the fashion industry. Thankfully, this is all changing. Women of color are making waves in the fashion industry and thanks to them, clothing that represents women with dark complexions is finally being introduced on the market. One great example has been Rihanna‘s SavageXFenty lingerie line. The singer/beauty expert/business mogul offers nude options in a range of shades so that women of varying complexions can find items that match their skin tone. Another brand on the forefront has been Nubian Skin, which also makes nude lingerie for women of color.

This new take on nude clothing shifts the definition of nude. Instead of being a shade, nude is now a range of shades. Some people may not be happy with redefining an age-old idea in fashion, but we’re thrilled. What better way to represent diversity in fashion than creating an entire spectrum of nudes for people to choose from? Also, with that in mind, in what other ways is diversity being represented in fashion?

Fashion and Diversity

More shades of nude is just one way that diversity is becoming a major focus in fashion. Many designers are actively trying to diversify their runway shows by featuring models who may not fit the conventional idea of what a model has typically been. This doesn’t just mean including more women of color and more plus size women on the catwalk. For the fashion industry to be truly inclusive, it’s important for designers to feature models of varying ages. The world of modeling has been reserved for women under the age of 30 for as long as anyone can recall. Fashion insiders are starting to realize how ridiculous this is, seeing as a woman’s beauty does not magically vanish when she surpasses her 20’s.

nude shades clothing diversity inclusive

It’s also important for people of varying abilities to be included both behind the scenes and on the catwalk. People with disabilities are not any less beautiful or glamourous than able-bodied people. That’s why more designers are featuring models with disabilities both on the runway and in their marketing.

How You Can Support Diversity In the Fashion Industry

If you’re anything like us, you’re probably excited by the idea of a more diverse world of fashion. While there are big changes being made to make the industry more inclusive, there is still a long way to go. So is there anything you can do to help the process along? The best thing you can do is support brands who are making strides in diversity. We’ve got a few on our radar that you can look into! Brands that have made an effort to be inclusive include Brandon Maxwell, Marc Jacobs, Yeezy, Tracy Reese, Michael Kors, Gypsy Sport, Chromat, and Christian Siriano. So the next time you’re looking to add something new to your wardrobe, check them out!


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