Creative Nail Design was the first nail polish company to introduce the art nail design to New York Fashion Week twelve years ago. At one point throughout the 24 seasons of hustle and bustle, the company created looks and worked backstage for 85 shows in one season. This year, they chose 25. I had a chance to speak with Jan Arnold and lead nail technician, Roxanne Valinoti, about their experiences. "This year we're focusing on the quality of shows and design instead of quantity," Valinoti stated. She credits the professionally trained team and close relationships with designers to being invited back and asked to work the shows year after year. Each show there are about four nail technicians on hand to cover about 30 models hands and feet. They may arrive to prepare for the show only three hours before, but the preparation time in creating the look begins at least two months prior to fashion week.
They start with three inspiration boards that show different themes and then meet with each designer about five to six weeks before the show. Just a few days before the show, the nail team meets with the hair and makeup teams to create a collaborative effect. "Sometimes we decide on the final nail look at the actual show," Valinoti remarked, "it's not always as planned out as we'd like it to be."
She shared her top items in order to create an instant backstage manicure:
- Solar Speed Spray, a life savor! And it smells so good.
- A thin base coat, allows polish to dry quicker.
- Creative Nail Design Air Dry Protective Fast Drying Top Coat, it adds high shine and dries very quickly so there's less risk of smudging.
- Solar Oil, the models change their polish about three times a day and their cuticles get so dried out. This keeps them from getting too dehydrated.
Check out this video with Creative Nail Design's Jan Arnold as she fills me in on her experience with New York Fashion Week backstage at Catherine Malandrino.