Nubian Skin softies in a diverse range of colours for Black and Brown skinned women have been unveiled as part of the lingerie brand’s eight-year anniversary celebrations.
Nubian Skin founder Ade Hassan spoke exclusively to Melan Magazine, during their celebratory eight-year anniversary pop up shop, about her brand’s partnership with The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust to launch the UK’s first range of softies in a diverse range of colours.
“As we celebrate eight years of Nubian Skin, we are releasing a product, a collaboration with the Royal Marsden, which is something I’m incredibly proud of, in time for Black History Month and Breast Cancer Awareness Month, said Ade Hassan.
“Nubian Skin is releasing the first softies in the UK catered to Black and Asian women with darker skin.”
“Nubian Skin is releasing the first softies in the UK catered to Black and Asian women with darker skin.
“It’s something I’m incredibly proud of and I can’t wait for people to see them and for women who need softies to have access to something that actually matches their skin tone.”
A softie is a lightweight fabric prosthesis that women with breast cancer are often provided after a mastectomy to wear in their bra. While some women go on to use a permanent silicon prosthesis, many women continue to wear a softie throughout their lives.
Despite their wide use, a survey of 100 women of colour by Black Women Rising – a project founded by Leanne Pero that aims to raise awareness of cancer amongst people of colour, revealed that nearly three-quarters (74%) of Black and Asian women are not offered a softie or prosthetic breast that matches their skin tone.
View this post on Instagram
This oversight of the needs of women of colour, particularly in Black and Asian communities, goes some way to explaining why these groups often have lower breast cancer awareness and as a result, are often diagnosed with more advanced breast cancers when they finally present themselves to healthcare settings.
“It has been an honour for Nubian Skin to work with The Royal Marsden to create these softies.”
Advocating for patients, and thanks to funding from The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity, Natalie Johnson, a Breast and Oncoplastic Surgeon at The Royal Marsden, and Sarah Adomah, Lead Breast Clinical Nurse Specialist at the hospital, approached the brand to create the Nubian Skin softies in a diverse range of colours to help improve post-operative care for women of colour. Given their expertise in diverse, skin-tone lingerie, Nubian Skin was happy to take on the challenge of developing the new product outside of their usual remit.
Nubian Skin founder Ade Hassan, who received an MBE for Services to Fashion in 2017, reveals how personal experience affected her decision to support the project. She said: “Breast cancer is a disease that has affected my family and family members of the Nubian Skin team, so when I was approached by Natalie about this project, I knew instantly that I wanted to help in any way that I could.
“It has been an honour for Nubian Skin to work with The Royal Marsden to create these softies, and to help in a small way, the recovery of the women who are dealing with an often life-changing diagnosis.”
Natalie Johnson said: “We are extremely grateful to our partner Nubian Skin for making this range a reality and to The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity for supporting this project. We’ve just produced our first batch of inclusive softies which are being issued to breast cancer patients following surgery at The Royal Marsden. We hope this range, which is a true representation of patient-centred care, will eventually be distributed in all cancer centres in the UK.”
Providing women who have undergone a mastectomy with appropriately coloured prostheses goes a long way to supporting their wellbeing. Sarah Adomah agrees. She said: “For many women, having a mastectomy is incredibly traumatic and being given a softie in an inappropriate skin tone can make the experience even more upsetting.”
The softies are currently only available to Royal Marsden patients, but Nubian Skin plans to make them available to individuals and medical institutions in the near future via the Nubian Skin website.