Companies like Pinterest are taking the lead in product inclusivity, by creating a new filter on their site to empower users looking for products in alignment with their skin tone.
As product inclusivity grows media, marketing, retail, and tech industries will require DEI leadership, outside of that which is traditionally seated in Human Resource.
For example, in the retail industry, the concept of “flesh tone” or “nude” has often been synonymous with white or pale skin. Systemically, people of color and different ethnicities have been subject to product erasure.
Lack of skin tone representation in media and lack of flesh tone product options for people of color and various ethnicities in spaces such as medicine, fashion, beauty, and intimate apparel can spurn the feeling of needing to feel included and worse, feeling deprioritized (shunned) in relations to whiteness.
Skin color- particularly for black women spans across different spectrums, and various shades of black or brown.
As a dark skin, African woman, program director in cross-cultural marketing and engineering spaces, I know all too well, the importance and absolute need for product inclusivity. If you don’t see yourself in media, literature, or have access to products that represent you, then you have no real representation of yourself.
Growing up shopping in America, working in product and engineering spaces, the only segue into acceptance or passage into acceptance in America is the constant message that whiteness is the priority.
The lack of skin tone spectrum in products has forced many consumers of various ethnicities and skin tones (like myself) to adopt inexplicitly that whiteness is the priority and the ideal race.
This type of product messaging is created when nudes or flesh tone options only represent complexions held by white people.
This is being erased, however, as more brands have and/or are finding ways to represent diverse skin tones in their products. Here’s a list of some of the brands that are o becoming more and more inclusive in their product offerings:
The following brands are on their “Hueish” sending a message, that your HUE, your skin tone, your complexion, matters:
1. Kahmune Knows Your Hue Matters
The brand set out to be sure they were as inclusive as they could be – with 10 shoes ranging from fair to a deep brown and they are all named after the women who inspired each shade. The shoes themselves will cost you about $300.
If there are any brands, products or innovations that we didn’t mention in this list, please feel free to send them our way on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook!
2. Tru-Colour Bandaids Knows Your Hue Matters
If healing was diverse, inclusive, and equitable it would look like Tru Colour Bandaids. The bandaid is a bi-product of an adoptive dad’s desire to celebrate his son. Tru-Colour provides skin-tone shades for bandages and kinesiology tape for every hue. Truly they are on their Hue-ish!
You’ve probably also seen the tweet of a man describing his feelings when he finally found a bandage that matched his skin tone. After he tweeted this, people went crazy for the band-aids. If you haven’t tried out these awesome band-aids, grab some on Amazon here
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Curious about the science behind our skin-tone shade bandages? Check out the newest post to our blog today and learn more about the Fitzpatrick Scale and how you can find the bandage shade best made for you. Link in bio. 🙌🏼🙌🏽🙌🏾🙌🏿 . . . . . #blogpost #blog #fitzpatrickscale #dermatology #betru2u #skintone #staytru
3. Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty Pro Filter Foundation Knows Your Hue Matters
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Complexion check! 👏🏿🙌🏼👌🏾👍🏻🙌🏽50 shades of #PROFILTRFOUNDATION in a longwearing soft-matte finish to keep your skin looking flawless and selfie-ready! Get help finding your match using our chatbot at m.me/fentybeauty. Available at fentybeauty.com, @sephora, @bootsuk, @harveynichols, and #SephorainJCP!
After completing her eighth album, ANTI, Rihanna transformed from international pop-star to full-blown entrepreneur. Creating a lingerie line, fashion house and a skin-inclusive makeup brand! The line has over 50 shades, so there’s a guarantee you won’t have a hard time finding your shade.
4. Kim Kardashian’s Shapewear Line “Kimono” Knows Your Hue Matters
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Finally I can share with you guys this project that I have been developing for the last year. I’ve been passionate about this for 15 years. Kimono is my take on shapewear and solutions for women that actually work. I would always cut up my shapewear to make my own styles, and there have also been so many times I couldn’t find a shapeware color that blended with my skin tone so we needed a solution for all of this. The third pic is the solution short. I developed this style for all of those times I wanted to wear a dress or skirt with a slit and still needed the support. Introducing Kimono Solutionwear™ for every body. Coming Soon in sizes XXS – 4XL in 9 shades. I can’t wait for you to feel this fabric!#KimonoBody @kimono Photos by Vanessa Beecroft
Mrs. Kardashian-West is no stranger to the phrase “cultural appropriation,” she’s been accused more than once. This time it’s for her new shapewear line that is named after the traditional Japanese robe. In a statement to the New York Times, she said it was supposed to be “a nod to the beauty and detail that goes into a garment.”
5. Muslim Girl x Orly Knows Your Hue Matters
In a collaboration with the nail polish brand, Orly, Muslim Girl teamed up with them to create a beautiful line of inclusive nail polishes. “The first collaboration of its kind where an American beauty brand is catering to Muslim women,” they write on their website. “The #HalalPaint collection features six uniquely water-permeable nail polishes that are made out of 100% halal ingredients.”
6. Mahogany Blues Dance Apparel Knows Your Hue Matters
According to their website, this is how they got their start, “In March 2015, Mahogany Blues Dance Apparel (MDBA) — a partner of Brown Girls Do Ballet became the premier dance apparel company catering to the needs and demands of FleshTone dancers.”
7. ThirdLove Knows Your Hue Matters
The creative team, Heidi Zak and Ra’el Cohen, created this inclusive bra, underwear and lingerie company in 2012 – and business has been steadily rising for them ever since. They are affordable, comfortable and supposed to the be able to fit virtually any body and match a wide range of skin tones.
8. Christian Louboutin Shoes Knows Your Hue Matters
In 2013, the Louboutin brand released its Nudes collection, which features five different shades of nude!
9. Proclaim Knows Your Hue Matters
From recyclable plastic bottles to intimate wear, this lingerie brand is sustainability intersectionalism at it’s finest. Proclaim is an earth-friendly, inclusive nude lingerie line that is cultivated from conscious fabrics and made in Los Angeles.
Their ethical mission is two tiers: to represent women of all shapes, sizes, identities while and take care of the planet.
10. Band-aids Knows Your Hue Matters
It’s taken me 45 trips around the sun, but for the first time in my life I know what it feels like to have a “band-aid” in my own skin tone. You can barely even spot it in the first image. For real I’m holding back tears. pic.twitter.com/GZR7hRBkJf
— Dominique Apollon (@ApollonTweets) April 19, 2019
11. Nubian Skin Knows Your Hue Matters
In 2014, Nubian Skin launched its line of dark skin tone bras as it was difficult for many women of color to find flesh tone intimate wear.
Sade Disu is known and sought after for her ability to leverage storytelling, data, and business operations with her innate understanding of the cultural consumers’ lifestyle attitudes.
She attributes this aforementioned attention (press and awards) to her grit for creating cross-cultural content, platform solutions, and activations that engage (what she coins) the ” multi-hyphenated millennial women.”
Her content strategies and live event platforms were deemed unmatched for its convening power of global content, culture, and empowerment according to Forbes, LA Times, Essence, and Black Enterprise. And even more, was given a proclamation, by former Mayor of New York (now Presidential candidate) Michael Bloomberg in 2010.
All in all, Sade has delivered award-winning and has been press ordained (had a 4-page press feature in Black Enterprise and 2-page press feature in Forbes French Edition for her global experiential marketing and digital work across various clients.
Brands like Kimora Lee Simons, Iman Cosmetics, Pikolinos, Zara, Roommate Hotels and USAID, immediately tapped into her three-tier prong approach “community, content, to commerce” when looking to connect with the cultural consumers.
Under her auspice, she managed a team of 25 and built a 10-year-old marketing and digital communication firm, responsible for offline and online platforms that connected brands to consumers organically and authentically.
The results increased brand awareness 8.5 million views; $300+ K in revenue generated per event (total of 3) for project sponsors, and performance beyond the expected for key performance indicators such as newsletter subscribers. Media giants such as Hearst Magazines caught wind of her competencies — the ability to connect to cultural consumers through content and experiential solutions– and immediately hired her agency to build and produce its international spin-off of COSMO (which Disu also helped cultivate and manage editorial teams for).