Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Spotlight on Ella B 'Nude Tights For All Skin Tones'

There has been quite a lot of coverage in the UK media in recent weeks on the issue of tights to match different skin tones. For many women, and perhaps some men too, this is clearly a challenge and the needs of a diverse population is not always being addressed by the hosiery industry.

We recently interviewed Ella Bennett, entrepreneur and founder of Ella B 'Nude Tights For All Skin Tones'.

Ella has been developing a range of tights that perfectly match each and every skin tone, including very pale and very dark skin tones.

We are pleased to now publish our interview with Ella.

Can you provide Hosiery For Men readers with some background to Ella B 'Nude Tights For All Skin Tones'? Why did you start the business and how has it developed?

Certainly! I had fallen ill with fibromyalgia, which led to me being unable to work in an office on a conventional basis, so I was looking for an alternative way to make good use of my education and work experience at a time when I needed tights to wear to synagogue each week, but was unable to find nude tights that perfectly match my skin tone.

At the time, there was one shop on the UK high street that stocked tights in a colour fairly close to my skin tone, but which was by no means a perfect match, and I was anxious that should this shop stop selling them, I would be without nude tights.

I then spoke to ladies in London’s Oxford Street, and asked them where they buy their nude tights. The answers I received were overwhelmingly unanimous. They said: “we’ve tried to find them, but we gave up long ago..because they don’t exist. They’re either too light or too dark, or they make our legs look grey and ashy..they do not match our skin tones.”

The vast majority of ladies I spoke to said they had never found nude tights that perfectly matched their skin tones.

When did you first have the idea and how long has it taken to develop it?

I first had the idea in 2010. I wrote my first draft business plan in 2011 and started to execute it from then onwards. It took a while because I had to learn how to translate a business plan into a fully-fledged start-up.

What research did you do to develop your concept of 'Nude Tights For All Skin Tones'?

Following the initial feedback, I carried out some market research. I designed a questionnaire and invited shoppers on London’s main high streets to complete it, in order to find out exactly how big the problem of not being able to buy perfectly matching nude skin tone tights is, and whether the public would be willing to pay for a perfect solution.

What challenges did you face and how did you overcome them?

The initial challenges were of an operational nature. As a founder and director you need to be able to make qualified executive decisions and you can only do this properly if you understand your chosen industry, so a lot of time was spent building relationships with key experts and professionals within the industry and learning from them.

To do this I connected with London's start-up entrepreneurial networks in Shoreditch and Soho and was amazed at how much I was able to learn, and at how many people were willing to support Ella B 'Nude Tights For All Skin Tones'. I put an advisory board together which proved invaluable particularly when it came to doing deals and considering offers from other entrepreneurs.

Did you consider the needs of men who wear tights also when developing the concept?

Yes and no. I spoke to men who said they would definitely want this product. But, when they completed their questionnaires they did not give sufficient information for me to realise that men’s hosiery needs are subtly different to women’s and really quite specific in terms of design and durability.

It’s actually this blog that has opened my eyes to the existence of a definitive hosiery ‘market’ for men, and for that I am very humbled as well as grateful.

What have been the highs and lows of Ella B so far?

The main highs would be getting my hosiery range designed and produced here in the UK and then sending out samples and receiving excellent feedback from the ladies who have sampled tights from my range. Another high point would be pitching to and receiving offers to stock my product from three major retail partners.

The lows included having to decline major stockist offers even though deep down my advisory board were right, and realising that in business, as a director you have to prioritise profit and sustainability over passion.

How will you ensure that your tights will also appeal to men? Do you welcome enquiries from them?

As founder and director of Ella B ‘Nude Tights For All Skin Tones’ I welcome enquiries from everyone, male, female, transgender and so on. Ella B ‘Nude Tights For All Skin Tones’ welcomes everyone without question and the more people that sign up to receive a sample and complete the questionnaire, the more influence over the design process they will have.

There has been quite a lot of media coverage of tights for men in recent years. What are your thoughts about the greater visibility of men buying and wearing tights?

I think that more reaching out to the public and the media is massively advantageous for the men’s hosiery market because from my experience of talking to men about their hosiery requirements, there is keen interest, but this may not translate into a tangible demand unless they know they can buy what they need, that it’s easy to access, and that they can shop for men’s hosiery without getting nudges, sniggers and any other inhibiting responses from their friends and family who might incorrectly think that hosiery is for women only.

More education through blogging, and media campaigns would definitely benefit men and the hosiery industry, and it’s very encouraging to see a blog like Hosiery for Men really pioneering and championing hosiery for men.

That’s why I have so much respect and admiration for this blog, because this is the only one of its type that I have seen that specifically caters for men’s hosiery needs.

To men thinking about trying tights, what would you say are the main benefits of wearing them?

The main benefits of wearing tights are that they keep you warm and they conveniently hide hairy ‘winter’ legs if you choose opaque tights. Sheer tights give your legs a silky sheen when bought in a perfectly matching nude skin tone of 10-20 denier. If you wear matte sheer tights, no one will know you’re wearing them but you. If you want 'Beyonce legs' then you would opt for a glossy 20 denier pair of nude skin tone tights. Overall, tights add elegance, a certain ‘Je ne sais quoi’ to an otherwise ordinary leg.

Tights, for either gender can up-shade and down-shade your skin tone to suit your requirements. If you want to appear more tanned than usual, opt for a darker shade, if you want to appear paler than usual, opt for a lighter shade. When you don’t want to go barelegged or wear trousers, black tights or leggings instead, Ella B’s nude tights are the perfect solution because they perfectly match your skin tone.

Just as for women, tights for men can also provide essential support by smoothing out any lumps and bumps around the body and giving the appearance of a smooth silhouette.

There are also compression tights, which aid the circulation of blood flowing around the body and which can help if you do activities that require you to stand or sit for long periods, or have blood circulation related medical conditions.

What are the next steps for you?

The next steps are to increase the brand’s media exposure and to attract an appropriate backer who will help Ella B ‘Nude Tights For All Skin Tones’ launch on a high street near you!

How can people learn more about the Ella B 'Nude Tights For All Skin Tones'?

To see images of Ella B tights as worn by our models, or to keep up-to-date with Ella B or to leave a message please visit the Ella B Nude Tights For All Skin Tones Facebook page. 

For a free sample, please go to www.ellabtights.com.

You can also send an email to: 

Thanks for speaking to Hosiery For Men Ella. We hope this interview will raise more awareness of your concept and that readers will get in touch. Do keep us updated with how things develop.


  1. What an awesome interview! Wish she was here in the States.

  2. Great stuff, very informative!

  3. Interesting. I have fibromyalgia too and had to make a career change. Never thought about a startup designing and producing tights. Well done Ella. A point for Ella. May be to encourage male buyers a separate website dropping the 'ladies' word in the url/title and focusing on the findings in your research which sounds like it was extensive and could be leveraged.

  4. Oh wow! How has your fibro journey been so far..? Thank you, that's a really good point about the Ella B url, I've recently acquired the ellabtights url so will be able to make the change in due course.

  5. Amazing interview!

    You actually don't realise this is an issue, till you try and find a pair of tights to match. I have porcelain skin and never wear false tan, so for me...I have a nightmare trying to find corresponding colours!

    And the whole point of these tights is to not make it obvious that you're wearing tights!

    So inspirational ❤

    Thank you for a superb interview!!

    Kay II Tights and Ladders

  6. Great review it got my attention I love wearing hosiery many benefits to wearing would love to try these