Shades of nude

Shades of nude

Denické Cronjé started an online business at 21, with no experience in e-commerce, marketing, design or manufacturing. As owner of Nude Wear, she has taken the fashion industry by storm with her nude bikini range which caters for women of all shapes and sizes.

What inspired you to start a swimwear line?
Nude Wear didn’t start out as a swimwear brand. I was looking to create an inclusive platform for South African women to express their concerns, insecurities and experiences.
The concept quickly transformed, and before I knew it I was dabbling in fashion. Using “fashion as activism”, we continuously attempt to address issues of race, sexuality and body-positivity. We chose swimwear specifically because there seemed to be a warped universal understanding of what an ideal or “bikini body” should look like. We aim to reconstruct these hegemonic ideologies and create an accepting and safe space for women of all shapes, shades and sizes to reclaim their bodies.

What challenges did you face before launching Nude Wear Swimwear?
I started an online business at 21, with no experience in e-commerce, marketing, design or manufacturing. So, the question really should be, what challenges did I not have to confront? I am constantly forced to change and adopt new roles within my own business. We’re incredibly fortunate to live in an era where information is so readily available. The real challenge is to use these resources in a productive and creative manner.

Have you had any ups and downs in the fashion industry, and if so how did you get through them?
We are constantly faced with ethical dilemmas while conceptualising new products and collections. The fashion industry is the second most polluting industry in the world, second only to oil. Therefore, we attempt to remain conscious about the pace at which we produce garments. It is impossible to manufacture locally, ethically and sustainably while trying to keep up with the pace that the international fashion industry has created. Therefore, our aim is to slow down the cycle, and encourage our consumers to buy locally and consciously.
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When people think of nude they mostly think beige, but your line has many shades. What inspired
The concept behind Nude Wear is to reconstruct the manner in which we consume hegemonic social, cultural and political ideas. We decided to produce garments in a diverse palette of skin-tones, in order to address the Eurocentric ideology of ‘nude’ being exclusively representative of a beige or Caucasian tone.

Since you’re currently in Cape Town, what do you miss most about Bloemfontein?
The people, and that’s why Bloem will always be home. The city is an unexpected hub of creativity and inspirational humans. I will forever be grateful for the community of creatives who helped shape and mould the woman I am today.
Shop Nude Wear: | @nudewearsa


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