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This Clothing Designer Makes Nude Dancewear For Dancers Of Color

Because peach is not nude for ~everyone~.

Meet Whitney Bracey, a 29-year-old clothing designer based in Dallas, Texas.

Twitter: @designsbywhit

Bracey has been designing clothes since she was six-years-old when she would cut up her socks to make outfits for her Barbie dolls. "One day, my mom caught me — she was mad," Bracey told BuzzFeed. "But then she realized that this was something I could use, so when I was seven-years-old, she taught me how to use a sewing machine."

After that, Bracey was hooked. She made clothes for herself and her friends throughout high school and college. And while attending Texas Woman's University in Denton for fashion design, she started making swimsuits for a friend's line of beauty-pageant-specific swimwear.

In March of 2015, Bracey launched Mahogany Blues, a dance apparel company that makes nude apparel for dancers of color.

M*Knight / Via

Bracey, who was still making swimwear, got the idea after her friend and founder of Brown Girls Do Ballet, TaKiyah Wallace, tipped her off that there were no nudes for people of color in the dance industry.

"Most dancers of color have to dye their leotards a few times to get the right color," she said.

M*Knight / Via

Bracey, who currently makes all of the leotards by hand, will start using a factory for mass production as demand for her dancewear has grown.

"To come up with our nudes, I printed out a color card and tried to match the skin tones of friends, coworkers, and strangers," she said.

The line currently features four nudes. By the end of next year, Bracey plans to introduce two more colors (one she describes as "more of a cinnamon" and the other will be a lighter option). Another step in the works: Nude bra tops and boy shorts for girls and briefs for boys. "These will be great for gymnasts," she said.

And Bracey makes sure to give back to the community.

"Each year we choose a dance company or studio to sponsor," she said. Each dancer receives a Ballerina Care Package that includes a leotard matched to their skin tone, nude Tru-Colour Bandages, and Kinetic Essentials shoe polish (to make pointe shoes nude).

"The most rewarding experience is every time I get a new client and I get to see them smile," she said.

M*Knight / Via

"My long term goal is to see our brand taking care of any and every kind of nude," Bracey said.

"It's so important for little girls and boys to see themselves represented in all career fields," Bracey said.


Teen Vogue / Via

Body Positivity Week is a week of content devoted to exploring and celebrating our complicated relationships with our bodies. Check out more great Body Positivity Week content here.

Chris Ritter / BuzzFeed