Nude Wear is not all aesthetics and dust tones; the swimwear brand is breaking barriers via social media and the brand's Spring/Summer 2018 lookbook is an ode to the divine multi-faceted femme.
Cape Town-based Denicke Cronje is the mastermind behind the brand that is merging swimwear with activism by deconstructing societal ideas of acceptable beauty. Aside from the gorgeous imagery that we fell in love with on the gram', we wanted to find out how this empowering venture came about - with our November #BodyIssue on shelf-now, we could not think of a more apt time.
The Gender and Anthropology major gave us some insight into her world of feminism and body-positivity which lead the birth of Nude Wear.
1. What is Nude Wear?
I started Nude Wear just over a year ago. It initially started as a platform where women could come together and collaborate while addressing issues relating to body-positivity, racism and sexism. The name was inspired by two ideas. Firstly, the Eurocentric ideology surrounding the concept of “nude”, which commonly represents the colour beige. Secondly, ‘nude’ as in ‘nudity’. What types of bodies are being represented in the media, and why? Nude Wear, therefore aims to represent the miscellany of South African women.
2. What inspired the idea?
I’ve always been an advocate for women-empowerment and body- positivity. Therefore, the brand developed from years of exploring these issues, which continue to affect women in contemporary society. I quickly realised that young women are often taught to measure their own success and capability with their aesthetic attributes. Therefore, Nude Wear allows women the opportunity to explore and reconstruct hegemonic beauty standards.
3. Who are the women behind the range?
I started the brand at 21, at the time of Nude Wear’s inception I was an anthropology and Gender Studies major at UCT, with very little experience and knowledge in the business and fashion realm. I used every opportunity to learn and expand my skills and expertise. With the help and support of some remarkable women, I was able to grow the brand while using fashion as activism.
Curves models, Marciel Hopkins, Junette Syster, Asanda Maku and Terri Lane are often featured, and their collaborative spirit, support and ambassadorship has been influential.
These collaborations are at the epicentre of women-empowerment; we continue to champion the idea of women supporting other women. The future truly is female.
4. Tell us about the idea behind your lookbook images?
Dust & Dunes is our SS18 collection; we really tried to create a campaign, which explored modern femininity. We built the concept around each model’s unique attributes, using our new skin-tone range to accentuate the perfectly flawed feminine form. Every element of the campaign was carefully constructed by a team of talented female creatives. We collaborated with Niquita Bento, the queen of editorial photography, face beat by the extraordinary Talia Barak and styling by the talented Amori Birch.
The models are all friends of the brand, their enthusiasm and collaborative spirit is what makes the brand relatable. Marciel Hopkins, Junette Syster, Terri Lane, Asanda Maku, Annette Kemp and Toni Smidt.
5. How is your brand championing body positivity effectively in the age where some use social media to body- shame?
We are constantly searching for beauty in diversity. We continue to believe that representation matters, and we try our best to create an inclusive space where women can share their experiences and insecurities. It is essential that women understand that hegemonic beauty standards are not normal, they are socially constructed, and therefore, they can be altered and reimagined. Body positivity is for everybody, and it’s essential that women continue to explore and embrace their own unique femininity, without undermining the beauty of others.
6. What makes you feel the most confident?
Unfortunately, confidence cannot be bought. It takes a lot of personal reflection and acceptance to understand your own power. However, there are some moments and tools, which can assist you in your self-love journey.
- Surround yourself with an army of like-minded women
- Practice self-care –mental, physical and emotional wellbeing breed’s confidence.
- Take risks. You’d be surprised how powerful failure is –embrace it.
- And obviously, put on that bikini and work it!
7. Do you think that the South African beauty industry is opening up to diversity?
YES! The industry is controlled by demand. Therefore, we encourage both men and women to continue to challenge and question the beauty industry.
8. Your favourite #bodypositive lookbook from any other brand?We are obsessed with local designer Isabel De Villiers, she recently launched her body positivity tees. Her range features a collection of classic t-shirts with the most incredible illustrations.
9. What is your long-term goal for the brand?
We’re constantly working to expand and create a more inclusive platform. Our aim is to inspire. Therefore, we’re looking to move beyond swimwear. Watch this space!
The wrap-style SS 18 bikini range comes in a variety of shades of nude and we love how real and relatable it is. See more of the breathtakingly beautiful images below:
...and the cast and crew that brought it all together: