Social media has been a modern-day game changer for so many designers, and who knew that one good photo was all Ade Hassan needed to score a win. In October of 2014, after a photo shoot of one of her campaigns went viral, the Nigerian designer launched her lingerie and hosiery collection, Nubian Skin. Hassan had no idea that creating nude undergarments for colored women would become an international sensation, culminating in a sought after brand. Thankfully she recognized the need for inclusivity in the market and fashion industry and decided to fix the problem.
Growing up in a Nigerian household, Hassan found herself surrounded and inspired by entrepreneurs like her mother. Taking up a career in finance was second-hand nature to the London based designer. But a life dedicated to business wasn’t enough. She had to exercise her creativity, and what better way to do so than by appeasing her own annoyance of never having lingerie or hosiery that matched her skin-tone. She knew that if she had this problem, then so did every other woman of color. With that thought in mind, Nubian Skin was discovered.
The brand initially went through a rough patch due to Hassan’s lack of experience in the fashion industry. However, after just one post on social media, the brand skyrocketed, receiving over 35,000 notes on Tumblr and 20,000 followers on Instagram, which eventually led to a partnership with Nordstrom.
International clout came when both queens—Queen Elizabeth II and the Queen Bee, Beyoncé Knowles—recognized Ade Hassan’s work. Awarded the MBE (Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) for services in fashion, and responsible for the undergarments worn by Beyoncé during the formation tour in 2017, Hassan is on her way to becoming one of the greats in the fashion industry.
The Nubian Skin brand represents their motto, “Empowering Women. Embracing Our Color,” by providing four colorways— berry for dark skin tones, cinnamon for brown tones, caramel for lighter brown tones, and cafe au lait for the lightest skin tone. The campaign also shows that Ade Hassan has not lost sight of her upbringing.
She tells Humans of Business, “My heritage bleeds into everything. It’s who I am and where I come from.”
Featured Image by Israel Peters for Xero | provided by Nubian Skin