Fashion in the Age of Inclusion

Meet the Thesis New Nudes

When it comes to fashion, we can look at the most recent cover of TIME, featuring a stoic Edward Enninful, the first Black editor of British Vogue, and the headline of Fashioning Change, to understand it’s outsized influence and impact.  Fashion frankly has a lot to atone for; an industry born from aristocracy, and classically an instrument of exclusion and elitism.  

How then can it evolve to meet the Age of Inclusion? Like its counterparts in Sports, Media and Tech, Fashion must rise to meet the moment and rethink every aspect of its existence. 

Due to its history and evolution, the global fashion industry has traditionally glorified white, European culture, and white, European people.  Black and brown bodies and cultures have been fetishized and appropriated, but never celebrated or uplifted.  Some luxury brands, even today, have active strategies to discourage minority consumers from purchasing their products, while others, more subtly make minority consumers uncomfortable in physical spaces, and invisible in digital ones.   The underlying message being, that fashion is for the refined and people of color didn’t or shouldn’t exist in the lands of privilege. 

From the models to designers, to the guests chosen to sit front row; the industry showed in substantial and subtle ways, that it adored and adorned whiteness.  A literal example of this unsaid preference was demonstrated in the most literal way possible, in the articulation of “Nude” pallets in Fashion. 

Classically, “nude tones”  were flesh-colored palettes, mimicking the fair tones of the white European women who’ve been the dominating muses of the fashion world.  More recently, there has been an attempt to make nudes more inclusive, by offering a greater variety of flesh tones. This effort at inclusion, while a progressive step forward, lacks the passion and power that fashion usually unleashes from its sphere. With all the collective creative spirit of the fashion industry, is this best we can offer -  asking women to color match their outfits to their skin?  Is this our most thoughtful approach, given the values we want to see emulated in the world? 

I started Thesis Couture 7 years ago because I love women. I wanted to participate in building a world where more women design, create and build products and companies; a world where womens’ creation power matches our consumption power.  We began our journey with a mission to make high heels as comfortable as they were beautiful. Our debut heels, released after more than 5 years of research and development were called “The most comfortable high heels ever made, “ by Business Insider, and “Jimmy Choo on the outside, but pure Jetsons on the inside,” by Wall Street Journal, and received near-flawless reviews from our customers.  

Our Sophomore offering, a classic and timeless pump named Eve, was a concept we developed based on feedback from the customers of our first two drops; they loved the tech and feel of our heels, so much so, that they wanted ‘everyday designs’ and looks they felt worked seamlessly with their professional wardrobe.  On that insight, we created Eve, intended to be the perfect shoe for every woman, every day and everywhere.  

Eve has a precise and sophisticated silhouette, reflecting the fusion of technology and comfort woven into the brand. Its heel height is enough to elongate, enhance and hint at the beauty of a woman’s curves, but subtle enough, that it conveys the seriousness and prowess of a woman who can command boardrooms, not just bedrooms. 

We initially planned Eve for a Spring 2020 debut, but with COVID sweeping the world around us, it just felt tone-deaf for anyone to be thinking about fashion; so we focused our energy around giving back to our own community and focusing on our local civic duties needed to navigate these unprecedented times.  

Now as we find ourselves going into what is to be the 2020 Holiday season, while we are still clearly in the throes of some of the most trying times we have faced in our generation, after more than 6 months of a barrage of challenges, we are also in desperate need of small bright spots we can create for ourselves and our loved ones, to keep our spirits up as we continue to work of building a better tomorrow. 

It is in this spirit that we decided to release Eve, for a small, limited pre-sale.  When we initially planned the colorways for Eve, in Jan of 2020, we choose 5 contemporary looks: black, red, indigo, mint, and leopard.  

Sept 2020 is an entirely different universe, from Jan of 2020 - in looking at our planned colorways we felt like perhaps we could solve more than just one of traditional fashions’ shortcomings: (1) give women heels that don't hurt and (2) give them color tones that flatter their natural beauty, in every shade of the human rainbow. 

We reviewed thousands of colors to select 5 gorgeous neutral tones, each selected for its unique ability to complement and pair beautifully with nearly every skin tone, from rosy and fair to dark and striking. 

Meet the ‘Thesis New Nudes’, a palette designed for the Age of Inclusion, offering in:  Blush, Camel, Rust, Merlot, and Blackberry. 

While a small step in the long journey to defeating the challenges of inequity, we believe it’s a step in the right direction.  The Thesis woman will be neither silenced nor complacent.