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New nude: Fashion industry fights ‘beige’

The definition of the word nude is “flesh color,” but for years when women were looking for flesh colored products such as shoes, makeup or undergarments the only colors available were beige, ivory or tan—leaving women of color out.

The “nude” trend has been in style for years but women of deeper skin tones have regularly found it difficult to find the perfect shade that matches their complexion.

“Not long ago, ‘nude’ meant ‘matches white skin,’’ Steve Moscetti said in an interview with Refinery 29. “Because not everyone’s ‘nude’ is the same, people with skin of any other color were implicitly unable to participate in the trend.”

In the past five years companies have expanded their definition of nude to fit everyone. For example, in 2013 Christian Louboutin came out with a line of flats and pumps in skin tone colors from fair to deep.

“The Nude Collection is dedicated to people who want to have great legs, to have a great silhouette,” said Christian Louboutin in a statement with the LA Times.

Fashion designer and rapper Kanye West also introduced Yeezy Season 2—a clothing line inspired by the nude trend featuring shades from the lightest to the darkest.

Beauty brands are also now increasing their color range to offer foundations to match all skin tones because of the increasing popularity of skin tone clothing. Companies such as Anastasia Beverly Hills, L’Oréal, NARS, and more have expanded their color range within to cater to more women of color.  L’Oréal has worked with Queen Latifah to implement a complete collection dedicated to women of color. NARS’ slogan for its revamped Radiant Creamy Concealer, which caters to a bigger selection of deeper skin tones, is “One for All.” Maybelline has come out with a full variety of eleven nude lipsticks to match each skin tone.

“There isn’t just one ‘nude’ anymore,” said Shannon Romanowski to the LA Times,  “Brands are recognizing that women [and men] come in all shades, and there’s been a huge expansion in tones and foundations.” 

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