Shobha Philips started Proclaim, an inclusive underwear range, because she was tired of not being able to find a nude bra that matched her brown skin. Shobha’s experience shopping for a nude bra was sometimes laughable. From having someone try to convince her that a traditional beige nude matched her dark skin perfectly, “you just need to look at it under the right lighting,” to “oh, that doesn’t exist hun, but good luck,” – she has heard it all. Over the years, Shobha found workarounds, like the discovery that a purple bra does the job of disappearing against her skin under a sheer white tee. But at the end of the day, Shobha states that she’s not purple; she has brown skin. For years the fashion industry has chosen to ignore her and millions of women that don’t have the skin color that is ubiquitously known as nude.
Shobha has been aware of the issue for as long as she can remember. Being a brown girl growing up in the Midwest, there were many beauty standards that didn’t pertain to her and “nude” was just another concept she thought she had to accept. In a culture where blonde hair and blue eyes are regarded as ideal, a girl with black hair and brown skin just has to make do, she figured.
It wasn’t until Shobha was older and moved to San Francisco that she started to question these beauty standards that inevitably permeate the fashion world. Living in such a diverse city filled with people from all backgrounds with every skin color under the sun made her realize what it meant to embrace yourself and love your skin. The fact that there wasn’t a nude color for so many women seemed more and more absurd.
Shobha knew she had to be a part of the movement to revolutionize nude. But if she was going to do it, she wanted to do it right. Beyond nude, there are so many issues in the lingerie industry that are long overdue for change. The way women are portrayed, as overly airbrushed, perfectly fit little sex objects is outdated and doesn’t represent what most of our bodies look like. Shobha wanted to create a brand that represented real women. Proclaim’s launch campaign featured real women of all skin colors who are doing amazing things. Beautiful, brilliant women to admire.
The other part of the lingerie industry Shobha wanted to change was addressing and being transparent about the environmental and social impacts of production. She’s spent years researching different options for materials and production before discovering the recycled polyester fabric and local production facility in San Francisco that Proclaim ended up using. Proclaim fabric is made from 100% post-consumer recycled plastic bottles. Each bralette diverts two plastic bottles form landfills and oceans.
What started as an annoyance about the color nude turned into something much bigger. It turned into the opportunity to revolutionize an industry. Proclaim is a love letter to women who demand change rather than settling for the status quo. FOUNDER STORYNUDE BRANUDE REVOLUTION