This post originally appeared on Neri Magazine by Chantal Amsterdam
Once upon a time when Michael Jackson was still alive, high bangs and bamboo earrings were “da lick” and people knew everyone’s phone number by heart, women of color (WOC) who wore nylon stockings had a choice of 3 colors; Spice, Nightshade or Taupe. For the rebels like me who weren’t fans of the ashy hues meant for our Caucasian sisters, there was also sheer black as a default, regardless of what you were wearing. Then you went to war with the fit, and accepted the challenge of getting them past your ample thighs to your waist, hoping they would stay there.
Now fast forward to 2017 where Toronto’s renegade beauty maven Jayne Nicole Jeary has taken it upon herself to slay the dragon of non-diversity in the fashion world.
This Montreal-born business woman’s self-proclaimed mission? To ensure that all women of color (WOC) are “flawless, sexy and empowered”. As a manager for a major beauty retail brand, she’s a witness to how the industry has fallen short, and sees the effect it has on clients of color. She says that major beauty brands have left us out and don’t know that “we are stylish, we have money, we are professionals, we run companies and we want to look good and feel luxurious at the same time.”
The Jayne Nicole line is designed for women of color by a woman of color. Her. Our pain is her pain and drives her to fill this void in the hosiery market. “I am my market and I wear my product everyday so I need to love them. That amazing feeling and confidence I get from wearing my nylons is what I’m selling.”
She may have a point. Market research from her online retail site ShadesHosieryClub.com shows that millennials, not grandmas, are her largest demographic… Say what?! And fashion runways for 2016-2017 are backing up what her business is saying; from Roccobarocco, to Max Mara and Moschino, sheer nude hosiery and diversely colored fishnets are everywhere.
According to Jayne, her accumulated success comes largely from a loyal millennial client base who “… want a cleaner, flawless look and they have an appreciation for retro glam.” They also know nothing about the ancient era of pantyhose drama and enjoy the advancements in manufacturing and materials used today. Her luxury line rolls with you to the club’s VIP section, to the church altar and the boardroom on Monday morning. Glass ceiling breakers have a new dress code that goes beyond the pantsuit. Quality skin-tone hosiery is how the youth step it up. Artists like Rihanna, Katy Perry, Beyoncé and Janelle Monáe are prime examples of this fashion trend of looking polished, with a detailed style that is grown and sexy.
Jayne is an innovative entrepreneur as proven by her use of MAC Studio F/X’s foundation colors to match the right hosiery to her client’s skin. “So if you visit your local beauty counter and know the number of your foundation color, then you’ll also know which panty hose is perfect for you.” Color diversity and luxurious texture? Brilliant! For us curvy queens, and women who’ve never been comfortable wearing hosiery, Jayne says “the technology has changed so much since you last bought a pair of panty hose. Just try them!”
But what are her customers saying? Plus size sisters feel appreciated and clients like Camille Jerome are impressed with the company’s commitment to satisfaction. “I bought 6 pairs in total and I was very hesitant and particular about the color. Jayne convinced me to go with a shade that would match my leg color instead of something darker to conceal my imperfections. She was right. I love how patient and helpful she was with me. I can’t wait to see what her new collection has to offer.”
Jayne’s vision and venture is still evolving. June 2017 marks the launch of the new Jayne Nicole Luxury Nude Shade Hosiery for Women of Color. (do you want to add a teaser here?). Until then, visit ShadesHosieryClub.com and stock up on her high-end hosiery on sale now for a limited time.