BY ALYSSA MAHADEO
For ages, women of colour have struggled when it comes to finding a ‘nude’ shade to match their skin-tone, whether it be in makeup or undergarments, for women of colour nude is such a broad term used to describe the many shades of beautiful bronze skin we see in the world today.
The term nude has been used to reference the unclothed nature of the human body, it has become an artistic euphemism for being naked and has been more commonly used in the beauty and fashion industry to describe the pale peachy colour similar to skin tone. Finding their shade of nude has been an issue for brown/black women for years. Only recently we have seen more designers and make-up brands starting to cater to women of colour, offering more options than just the standard shades of ivory, medium fair and dark, none of which even remotely describe the beautiful bronzed splendor of someone of colour.
Owner and founder of Shades Hosiery Club, Jayne Jeary was working as a sales manager at a lingerie store when the idea came to her, pantyhose. Working in the retail and fashion industry over the years, she noticed that there was very little in the selection for women of colour especially when it came to finding a great high-quality pair of hosiery that wasn’t five shades lighter than your actual skin tone. Another eye opening experience happened when she was on her way to Carnival in Trinidad. Jayne thought she would be able to purchase her tights there, however when she got to the store she found the selection was just as limited and anything that was left was either not very good quality or not even close to her skin tone.
Jayne was born in Canada; she was adopted and lived in Montreal with her Caucasian parents. Her background was Trinidadian and Chinese Trinidadian that gave her a beautiful caramel complexion exclusive only to her in her family. Jayne worked as an esthetician for eleven years doing manicure, pedicures and facials for all types of people, and then she spent nineteen years working in cosmetics as a sale manager in beauty. During her time in the industry she spoke with many women of colour. She learned that many women were having the issue of finding make-up to match their skin tone and that there wasn’t enough variety for women who were darker in skin tone.
Working in her current position as a sales manager at a lingerie store, she found that she was working with a lot of women who have suffered from breast cancer or had different breast issues. She would help them to find a nice bra, that would help them to feel sexy and empowered again and she found that there was still so much that could be done especially to help more women of colour feel empowered and sexy through pantyhose.
In January of this year, Jayne decided that enough was enough, something needed to be done, honing her entrepreneurial spirit and she set out to do her research to put together her new company Shades Hosiery Club, catering beautiful nude-shade pantyhose for women of colour!
Through her research she found there were no big manufacturers in Canada who were making nude panty hose for women of colour. If they were, there were limited shades that were mostly cocoa or coffee and not all women can relate to cocoa and coffee. It was a frustrating detail not being able to find the right shade of nude in your undergarments especially when wearing a dress where you needed a more polished look, or having to wear black stockings because you have to wear pantyhose with the dress, but you can’t find the right shade of brown to match your skin tone.
Jayne was able to find some suppliers who approved of her idea and were willing to give her a shot. After working on her new project for four months she officially launched the company on April 24th at the 2016 Toronto Caribbean Business Expo.
Shades Hosiery Club was created with women of colour in mind. When it comes to finding luxury, nude-shade pantyhose, tights or undergarments for bronzed skin tone, it’s next to impossible. Jayne has worked in drug stores, high-end luxury retail and a very well branded lingerie store none of which have catered to Bronzed Beauties.
“Panty hose should blend, it’s like foundation for your leg,” says Jayne. “It should conceal, and it should be smooth while camouflaging and reducing the look of cellulite and scars so you feel sexy when you wear that cute dress or mini skirt.”
One of the companies Jayne works in collaboration with is Frangi Pangi known for their world-class luxury panty hose designed for women of colour. The woman behind the line of panty hose used to have to dye her stockings so they would match her skin tone, an arduous task that many of us would not even consider. Their line of luxury pantyhose has a guarantee of a minimum of four wears; otherwise you can send them back for a complimentary pair. The other company is Nude Barre another woman with the same idea, unable to find the right shades of panty hose to fit her needs.
Shades Hosiery Club, carries luxury ultra-sheer control top panty hose by Frangi Pangi in eleven different shades, as well as micro Nude Barre ladies fishnet tights, and Nude Barre Ladies opaque footed tights, which are great for everyday wear.
Also in their line are the extremely glamorous, Nude Barre ladies crystallized fishnet tights that are embellished fishnets with individual rhinestones jazzing up any look, and the Nude Barre Crystallized opaque footed tights, very popular during carnival season to give your mas costume that very polished effect!
Shades also carry undergarments, panties that are second skin thong and for children Nude Barre Kids Opaque Footed Opaque Tights and Nude Barre Kids Micro Fishnets for the little women in your life.
Shades Hosiery range from $19 for a pair of their sheer pantyhose to $100 for a pair of their hand embellished customized pantyhose. Their different styles and sixteen different shades is great for women from all walks of life, ages, culture and sexual orientation, whether you are working, performing or dancing away at our Caribbean Carnivals; can all rest assure, that they are wearing a perfect shade of nude.
“I have personally worn, washed, tested them for durability and comfort,” shares Jayne. “My mission was finding brands that really suited all the beautiful skin tones of women of colour and provided first-class quality and high-end luxury that ALL women deserve.”
Currently Jayne is working on partnerships with Mas Bands, for the upcoming Caribana season in Summer 16’ where masqueraders will have the chance to purchase hosiery from Shades as and add-on with their costumes. She will be selling them at their Mas camp as well and other Mas bands are catching on fast knowing this will be a hot selling item for masqueraders this year.
These top of the line luxury tights are available online at shadeshosieryclub.com. Jayne will be hosting a pop-up shop on Saturday June 4th at the beautiful Distillery District in Toronto. Her goal is to someday have her own line, but for now she will keep growing in collaboration with other like-minded businesses. Her mission is to allow more women to feel empowered and sexy, comfortable wearing their own clothes.
What are you waiting for? Feel sexy, feel empowered, get NUDE!