Joanne is a fantastic advocate for empowering and supporting those around her and her entire brand stands for that very concept. Using her life savings to get her business off the ground is a testament to her incredible dedication, and it has been a pleasure to support and guide her in gaining the funding needed to help take her business from strength to strength.
Joanne Baban-Morales is another inspiring female entrepreneur that Primas’ Corporate and Commercial team has worked with.
Colombian-born Joanne has been passionate about representing women’s bodies in their real and varied forms, ever since she was old enough to recognise that no one in the media or in fashion campaigns were representing the real women in her life. Determined not only to challenge the traditional perception of ‘nude’, but also to do away with unrealistic representations of the female body, Joanne has created a brand that encompasses all ages, ethnicities and body types to ensure that all women are equally – and accurately – represented. It is with this tenacity and commitment that NuNude came to be the disruptive and inclusive brand that it is today.
Using her life savings to get the business off the ground and working hard to consistently build profit for the following two and a half years, Joanne has been seeking out investment opportunities from a variety with the support and guidance of an experienced advisory board, including boxing champion, Anthony Joshua.
The launch of the brand back in October 2016 made quite the splash with controversy in the media. Joanne and her team challenged the definition of the word ‘nude’ in the Oxford Dictionary, which had been previously been defined as ‘light pinkish beige’. Tired of the media and social media problematising this definition, justice was given as the Oxford English Dictionary amended its definition, to expand its scope to ‘all shades of nude’.
Celebrating the diversity of the female body, the underwear brand then organised a fashion show called ‘Taking diversity to a whole new level’, showcasing female bodies of all shapes, colours and sizes. Determined to subvert the stereotype of the female body depicted in the mainstream media, NuNude was showcased as a brand that values and encompasses all body types.
But her entrance to the corporate world wasn’t all plain sailing, and Joanne came up against her fair share of obstacles as a female entrepreneur taking the leap into building her own business. Joanne talks of business meetings turning into dates and being invited for cocktails by potential investors, under the guise of hearing more about her business plan. She also recalls how daunting it was to present the concept of NuNude, a brand by women, for women, to a group of businessmen who could not liken themselves to the brand’s impassioned ethos.
Being a young female in a corporate world left Joanne feeling she had to assert her position and business as a viable investment opportunity and has since learnt the importance of confident body language and even changing the way you talk, to ensure you are heard.
Through the marketing support offered to her from childhood friend and boxing legend, Anthony Joshua, as well as legal advice from legal eagle Dan Rodgerson, former small business owner and Senior Associate at Primas, Joanne has a firm backing for going for investment opportunities. For Joanne, having sound legal advice from the beginning and a supportive advisory board has given her the encouragement to put NuNude out there and go after large-scale investment opportunities, which she has been successful in winning.
For Joanne, the importance of more female entrepreneurs breaking out into the corporate world is paramount. She advises all women thinking of taking the leap to stop thinking of the ‘what if’ and think about the ‘what if I don’t’.
Looking ahead to what the future holds for NuNude, Joanne is determined for the brand to keep disrupting the industry, embracing and empowering the female body and going from strength to strength. In order to achieve this, the underwear and shapewear brand will look for further investment so that it can continue on its mission to encourage women to have self-love and believe in unity and diversity. Future plans for Joanne include tech integration to make the brand even more accessible, as well as expansion into wider industries to keep the revolution rolling.
Finding real support
Joanne Baban-Morales said: “As a young woman breaking into the corporate world, launching my own business has come with its fair share of challenges and obstacles to overcome. But through all of this, my passion and determination for NuNude to continue empowering and encouraging women to love themselves and their bodies, has always been a driving force to keep going.
“NuNude was created with the purpose of flipping the historic stereotype of the female body on its head and forcing the media and fashion brands to acknowledge that our bodies come in a variety of sizes, shapes and colours. Our achievement with amending the definition of the term ‘nude’ in the Oxford English Dictionary was an amazing feat, but there is still a long way to go in normalising this realistic view of the female body.
“For International Women’s Day, my wish is for women to support, encourage and help each other to make the world more accepting and accessible of female entrepreneurs. If you’re afraid of taking the leap, ask yourself: how will I feel if I never do this? Don’t undermine your abilities, tell yourself you can make anything happen, and go after your dreams. One day, I hope to be lucky enough to advise another emerging female entrepreneur on how to tackle the corporate world and make a success of it. If we don’t look out for one another; who will?”
Dan Rodgerson, Senior Associate at Primas who is on Joanne’s advisory board, said of the entrepreneur: “Joanne is a fantastic advocate for empowering and supporting those around her and her entire brand stands for that very concept.
“Using her life savings to get her business off the ground is a testament to her incredible dedication, and it has been a pleasure to support and guide her in gaining the funding needed to help take her business from strength to strength. Having people in your corner who can help you when the going gets tough is really important, and helping entrepreneurs break out and build businesses is highly rewarding as a legal professional. I am sure Joanne and NuNude will continue making their mark on the fashion industry and empowering women, and I look forward to seeing what is next in store.”