A pair of Harvard Business students want to help redefine and expand what the colouring nude looks like in the fashion industry so that it can better reflect and compliment various shades of women.
Atima Lui and Nancy Madrid founded Mia Pielle after being fed up with the fashion industry’s limited definition of “nude.” The two women made the fashion-tech startup with the hope of being able to help women of all skin tones find apparel and accessories that would perfectly match their skin color.
“Unfortunately, the industry by and large defines the concept of nude manner as a few tones of beige, ” explained Madrid and Lui in a statementon the Mia Pielle website. “We are addressing this frustration for customers by curating many products that match different skin tones, but which are not inevitably positioned as ‘nude.'”
The concept for Mia Pielle came to the duo in December as they discussed how difficult it is for them find cosmetics and “nude” apparel that matched their unique skin tones. “We were just brainstorming the working day about how difficult it is for[ Atima] as an African-American woman to find the right tint of makeup, ” Madrid, who is Mexican-American, told The Huffington Post. “And I mentioned[ how] for me it’s hard to find the right colouring of nude shoes. Sometimes they’re too pink or they’re a tint that attains my skin look green, and we started playing with this concept and we believed, well, we have to come up with a answer for this.”
Madrid told HuffPost she and Lui initially toyed with the idea of creating a line of nude shoes to match a variety of skin tones, but they ultimately decided to go beyond simply footwear.
“When we started doing research, reaching out to women and their nude requires, we realized that women are particularly interested in nude lingerie and nude shoes, and nude hosiery, ” Madrid explained.
Using their proprietary “True Nude” algorithm, Mia Pielle curates products from existing brands, like Nubian Skin, in six different shades of nude — mahogany, chocolate, bronze, honey, pearl and ivory — providing customers with a personalized collecting unlike what they may find in stores. Users are then able to select and purchase items from that curated listing directly from a brand’s website.
The shades were determined by using a three-step processthat included its examination of 87 photographs of women from around the world taken by skin tone artist Angelica Dass, cross referencing the Pantone SkinTone Guide, and utilizing the Fitzpatrick Scale developed by Harvard dermatologist Thomas B. Fitzpatrick.
“What we plan on doing is partnering with existing brands and retailers to feature their products and monetize in an affiliate marketing model, ” Madrid said of their business model. “That means that we get a commission when we drive sales for them.”
Still in its preliminary trial phase, or alpha test phase, both Mia Pielle and its founders are still growing and evolving. Lui and Madrid lately competed in Rent the Runway’s Project Entrepreneur competitor for an opportunity to join their summer accelerator program. The duo’s also looking forward to competing in the Harvard Business School’s upcoming New Venture Competition at the end of April. And that’s simply the beginning, according to Madrid.
“A year from now, I hope[ Mia Pielle] reaches a lot of women and it dedicates them confidence, ” she shared. “We want to contribute to a cultural change[ in which] we are inclusive of everyone and all the women feels comfortable in her own skin.”
Read more: www.huffingtonpost.com