As part of London Fashion Week SS19 HerRunway supported by SheBuildsBrands, made its showcase representing all-female designers from all over the world. I believe there is a real calling for diversity amongst designers within the industry and this was a fabulous display of a contemporary, beautiful and inclusive platform. The event itself was full of positivity and excitement from all kinds of people. For me especially, when OwnBrown made its way onto the catwalk. OwnBrown is a brand dedicated to providing all women of colour, high quality lingerie, encouraging the embrace of self expression and self love. The models during the show performed the most beautiful and emotional dances whilst displaying the garments. 'Queen' from Jessie J repeated "I love my body, I love my skin, I am a goddess, I am a queen". Tears were shed from the audience, I cannot express to you the importance of women being able to express and love themselves. To see this being displayed unexpectedly on a catwalk, also was a truly powerful and memorable event.
Below is an exclusive interview with the incredible Nadine, the woman behind OwnBrown for Amber Magazine.
What inspired you to start your brand and this collection?
As a black woman, I was always frustrated when it came to the moments when I needed to find nude hosiery. We had a dress code in the last firm I was working for, and I needed nude hosiery to meet clients or go to court. I didn’t want my clothing options to only be black tights or trousers. I quickly realized that I wasn’t alone experiencing this « clothing » challenge. My entrepreneurial spirit woke up and we founded ownbrown in 2015.
Our lingerie is a fashion-inspired collection. This alluring lingerie comes in four different shades of brown adapted for darker skin tones. The tulle fabric is the leader player of the collection. Tulle is usually used in the ballet for tutus. Its lightness gives women an instantly recognizable feeling of confidence and comfort. The sheerness of the fabric recalls our tights. We also paid attention to the shape of the lingerie, we took the time necessary to design our bras with brown skin, sexy silhouette in mind.
How did you choose the piece of music at the show “I love my body, I love my skin”?
It was an intense brainstorming. We wanted a piece of music that resonates with Ownbrown values. With Ownbrown we want to give to women with brown skin one way among others to reveal their identities, and be confident in the skin they're in. When Kubi Springer from Shebuildsbrands agency proposed the Jessie J’ song, we knew that it was the perfect match. This song expresses who we are and what we stand for.
And finally, what do you love about being a female designer?
I am in a position where I deeply understand women's needs being a woman myself. I love the idea of bringing to life not only beautiful clothing, but pieces that empower women. Women need to feel empowered, and clothes express who you are without words.
Photography by Simon Armstrong and Amber Schormans