Is Fashion Finally Embracing The Real Meaning Of Diversity?


estee lauder color matching machine

As makeup brands expand their face products’ shade range, the beauty world is slowly making its way into having more diversity. Although there is still a long way to go, the fact that big companies like Estee Lauder have color matching machines say a lot about the cultural shift within the industry. Fashion is following suit.

Nude is a concept, not a colour,” the high end designer Christian Louboutin states. Nude clothing is meant to be a close match to someone’s skin tone, but then the widely available shade is usually beige. The luxury shoe brand, however, continues to incite a revolution–or perhaps, a nude revolution. Previously coming out with a line of heels, spanning from pale to deep, the French designer is now expanding his range with a brand new Nude flats collection. But despite the fact that a major designer is commanding inclusion in fashion, $500 for a shoe is still not entirely inclusive.

christian louboutin Nude flats collection

Fortunately, there is an alternative indie brand called Kahmune, who’s offering a collection of pumps and sandals for women whose skin tones range from a MAC N4 (the palest) to an NW58 (the darkest). “It’s time all women have “nude” products that celebrate the diversity of the human complexion. It was in that moment that Kahmune was visualised as the immediate solution to the age old fallacy that “nude” refers to a specific colour”, Founder Jamela Acheampong shares on the brand’s website.

The fact that Jamela, a black woman who actually relates and experiences exclusion, is behind all of this greatly contributes to the path of proper inclusion in the fashion industry. Soon, other non-footwear brands are trailing along the movement such as Nude Barre and Nubian Skin who sell hosiery, lingerie, and undergarments for women of color in an array of shades.

The great news is that the industry is slowly flourishing with inclusive ranges, multiracial runways, and fashion campaigns that have challenged the biased images we regularly see. Yet, fashion still needs to go to great lengths in advocating for a larger, stronger ethnic diversity.

In-article photos: Elle


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