Ade Hassan MBE, is the founder of British born lingerie and hosiery brand, Nubian Skin
To quote Ade, “My nude isn’t the nude I see in shops. Despite the reality that women of colour have the same needs as all women when it comes to lingerie and hosiery, the industry simply doesn’t cater to us. So, I thought, it’s time to rethink the definition of nude”.
Ade and Nubian Skin have been featured in some form in every major fashion magazine; supplying the wardrobes of major productions in the West End and on Broadway; being listed in the EBONY 100 list; and being selected to provide the underpinnings for the Beyoncé Formation Tour!
In 2017, Ade was awarded an MBE at Buckingham Palace for services to fashion. The award was made in recognition of Ade’s commitment to her mission to redefine nude, and the impact she has consequently made on the fashion industry.
How did you come up with the name ‘Nubian Skin’?
I wanted something that spoke to dark skin and I liked the idea of Nubian which is a word that it used a lot. It also has historical context and has those roots to Africa and dark skin and so to me it made sense. Initially, I was going to call it Nubian Nude, but then I realised that as the business was going to be mainly online, having nude in the name would’ve been problematic. So, I thought about the brand and what it is about and it’s about skin and about being comfortable in your skin and being proud of your skin, so it made sense for it be called Nubian Skin.
You mentioned in your TED talk that your business’s social media presence grew very quickly (pretty much overnight!), how did you keep this momentum going?
When we first started we had 50 followers on Instagram and in 4 weeks it was 20 000 because our campaign went viral. We were a completely new brand – and new to social media, so we felt so blessed in terms of the reaction. When people wrote to us we wrote back because we wanted to know what they wanted, and we still do this in terms of engaging with people and getting feedback on what they want on social media to find out and on email and replying to them. We quickly learned that engagement is key, and that’s how we keep this momentum going.
What is the hardest part of running your own business?
The hardest part of running my own business is knowing that it all ultimately relies on me. You have to wear many hats which can be pretty exhausting, but having a great team helps and it forces you to learn to ask for help.
Have a day of important meetings- what piece of RIXO do you wear?
Avril leopard bodysuit. Black pencil skirt and black heels. Amazing power outfit.
Which is your favourite/dream pair of Jimmy Choo shoes?
My most used and favourite Jimmy Choos is a pair of gold glitter bello wedges. They’re so comfortable, I’ve had them for years and even wore them on my wedding day. They’ve seen better days now, so I’ve been eyeing a pair of gold baxen wedges from the Cruise 19 collection.
Nubian Skin . / . @nubianskin