Heist, the British start-up renowned for its break-through innovation and consumer-centric approach to underwear, has identified nude shades that are representative of women across the globe. Using insights from 100,000 women and data science to analyze swatches of skin tones from a dedicated microsite, Heist has answered one of fashion's most overlooked questions; "what is nude?".

"Our insight was that unless there existed a data driven breakdown of a statistically viable cross section of the female population in any given country, the fashion industry would be incapable of providing nude shades that matched their customers skin tones," said Heist CEO Toby Darbyshire in a statement. "A lack of clarity around how many nude shades are required to cover an appropriate number of skin tones meant that this decision became commercial (i.e. a matter of working capital constraints) rather than customer driven (i.e. a matter of how many shades were required to serve their customer base)."

The brand recognized that without a data driven cross-section of populations broken down by skin tones, the fashion industry was incapable of providing accurate shades of nudes that match their customers' skin tones. The Nude Project was launched to collect this data which allowed Heist to analyze the skin tones of 100,000 women over the course of two years. This data identified 1,000 unique skin tones, which then allowed Heist to perform Euclidean clustering. This data clustering process resulted in seven distinct shades of nude which any of the 100,000 women who participated in the project could accurately match to.

The seven shades of nude devised from Heist's research then informed one of its best-selling product ranges; seven shades of nude tights. Following the success of this crowd-sourcing initiative and the importance of accurate representation of audience in the industry, which has been non-existent to date, Heist has open sourced the data.

"This is just the beginning," Darbyshire added in a statement. "The Nude Project is set up in such a way that brands expanding into other countries, or with a global footprint, can use the model to easily collate and analyze data to determine how their nude palette should be adapted in any given market." Now global brands, designers and entrepreneurs operating across sectors have access to the exact skin tones needed to accurately represent their audience which marks a pivotal moment in the industry.





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