BeingU Lingerie Collection
It’s a challenge that many women of color contend with at some point in their bra-wearing lives – finding a bra that they consider as “nude” – that adequately matches their skin tone, bringing about perfect foundation harmony.
For Sierra Leone born lingerie designer and business woman, Sadia Sisay, this battle to find color match lingerie for her dark skin tone on the market has been no less different or frustrating but it led to her determination that she would not allow this discrepancy to go unchallenged by her.
“I have always had a struggle to find lingerie for my own ‘nude’, it just didn’t exist. When my daughter was fourteen I was determined she wouldn’t face the same issues,” Sadia explains.
Today, Sadia is the proud founder of lingerie brand beingU, an intimates line that purposes to include women of varying skin tones but with an undeniable nod towards the woman of color, displaying a strong emphasis on shaping and hues chosen to flatter her recognized specific body shaping and deeper shaded skin undertones.
Originally conceptualizing her vision in 2011, Sadia recently re-launched her brand this year in February at the chic London Savoy Hotel after seeing off a few personal challenges that had previously forced her to put her dream on hold. Now she is back and even more determined than ever to promote her brand beingU as go-to name in lingerie for women of multiple skin tones.
“The idea of beingU has kept me getting out of bed every morning, working through the day and getting by on three hours of sleep a night,” Sadia relates. And it’s because she has absolute belief in the efficacy of her brand to fill a gap in the market that often seems forgotten or plugged for a seasonal fix. Tenacious Sadia is not content for her or other women of color to be catered to only when there is need for a trend update or seasonal fashion filler.
“I am not a trend, my daughter is not a trend, beingU is not a trend and I strongly believe that skin tone lingerie for all women is no longer a trend,” Sadia declares. “As long as we [at beingU] can make people see that, I am sure we will be successful.”
Sadia’s drive towards her brand’s success moves solidly on her embracing the philosophy that women should be and feel like themselves – not being forced to continuously conform to what is presented to them – especially as it relates to what they put on their bodies. And that includes their lingerie. BeingU is her platform for letting women, and particularly those of color, know that they can feel like themselves starting with having the opportunity to adorn themselves in foundation garments that cater to their needs rather than being presented with someone else’s idea of what suits them just because that’s what’s readily available.
But a mission like this is not just thrown together overnight. One only needs to look around at women of darker complexions to realize the variety of nuances between skin tones that could make it near impossible to capture these skin chromatics on fabrics. Sadia acknowledges that although this was an initial challenge, she believes that she has met the complexities of her task with as much consideration as possible.
“It took years to agree to the first five colours for launch,” she admits. “Luckily we have the next five colours agreed so that when we are ready we will be able to launch them! We have worked on tones and undertones rather than colours, which then makes it easier. We wanted beingU to represent as many women as possible, and so our palette for launch is quite wide.”
And she has learnt lessons along the way that will only serve to improve her brand and business.
“Our first collection was too much, too fast,” brand founder Sadia informs. “We have honed the offer in and widened our skin tone range. We have developed new ranges not seen before in skin tones, and believe we are now ready for success.”
The launch collection bras features three lines called Kobicha, Yendi and Rosa presented in the uniquely devised and numerically coded beingU palette, ranging from a light and creamy pebbly tone suited for paler complexions to that appropriate for skin resembling a strong cup of coffee without cream.
The combination of both color and comfort makes these bras ideal for everyday wear and Sadia has has merged both function and style for optimum wearability. Even briefs have been built with patent pending features that allow for extra manoeuvrability to accommodate curvature.
“We have considered women’s shapes throughout all collections to be able to offer something that is just as comfortable as it is beautiful,” Sadia assures, regarding the design features of her launch collection pieces.
Created with a rigid denier lining the bottom cup, Kobicha, a three piece cut and sewn bra, is built to allow for natural shape and support. High shine glossy mesh, satin ribbon accent and the brand’s signature copper hibiscus charm finish off this bra in fine style, rendering it a must-have up to H cup.
A high apex that gracefully descends into a lower neckline provides the perfect balance between plunge and cover in the Rosa. Sweetly embroidered with the signature hibiscus flower and lovingly adorned in dot mesh strikes a useful balance between day time and evening glamour, especially when paired with the cheeky Rosa thong. Also available up to H cup, Rosa is currently available in beingU02, a deliciously inviting velvety chocolate tone.
Since no collection is ever really complete without that perfect t-shirt bra, beingU offers Yendi to fill this role – a shaped and moulded microfibre bra with plush straps for added comfort. Its gently rounded neckline is workable under lower tops and a smooth façade is ideal for lightweight and clingy tops.
“The Yendi bra is going to be your new favourite bra!” Sadia declares assured that this piece is going to be a staple in any wardrobe.
Yendi creates a favourable silhouette with the brand’s patent pending Buttacups™ boyshorts which employs the same micofibre fabrication and is flattering to rear curves.
“Our seaming details [in Buttacups™] give extra special attention to shape and fit. This is the end to wedgies!” Sadia explains. “We have created a boyshort that hugs your curves without going where it shouldn’t. Extra curve has been added into the back seams to make sure this becomes your everyday favourite.”
But the innovations do not stop there. The brand is mobilizing a solutions range starting with a stick on bra for when less is needed.
“We are very excited to launch our solutions range with a stick on bra, perfect for those outfits that require you to go without a bra,” according to Sadia. “This bra gives the illusion of being braless under your most daring outfits. Solutions is an area we are very excited about, and something that we are developing to grow.”
With offerings of back bands running from 28 to 44 and cups from B to H (depending on the style), beingU is already poised to be a buzz name across a large cross section of women and its Solutions range can only serve as a catalyst to this end.
Though she has never lost the passion she first felt for her brand, Sadia’s comeback to the industry has a personal sense of triumph and rejuvenation that appears cemented in her vision for her brand. Her brand philosophy is not based on creating for one woman and leaving another out but embracing the needs of women on the whole which she believes makes the real difference in her brand outlook.
“BeingU is different,” Sadia declares. “Not different for the sake of being different, but we really believe the difference in us is making every customer of beingU [feel] visible. That’s why people should be excited.”