Columbia Chicago journalism graduate. I interview cool people and obsess over nails. You can get an idea of my interest by viewing my blog, as well as stories and interviews composed by me. I started as a writer for M.I.S.S., Gloss Magazine Online, The Lipstick Diaries, and Don't Trip Yet. Today I blog for NailPorn and I contribute to Jungle Gym Magazine.
I am the co-editor of Tipsy Zine,
Author of THAT'S TOTALLY IN! THE ADVENTURES OF ISIS NICOLE ILLUSTRATED BY SARA M LYONS and your coco connect.
"Tell him I’ve been too fucking busy or vice versa"- Dorothy Parker
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We’ll be nailporning at @azealiabanks Mermaid Ball After Party tomorrow night #nobiggie (Taken with Instagram)
Live as hell! This is NailPorn.
I get asked why I’m at a club in Brixton on a Friday a lot. This might help you understand.
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Source: MTV Style (NOT BY ME)
So, the Olympics are still happening, and yeah, the U.S. has won 18 gold medals (so far), which is AMAZING and GREAT and everything, but despite all that, there seems to be another part of the games that people can’t stop talking about—the nail art. We’ve already showed you all the killer designs that athletes have sported thus far, but haven’t you been wondering just HOW every competitor got their hands on such mind-blowing manis? Well, as it turns out, one of London’s biggest nail artists Sophy Robson (who some have deemed the “Nail Queen”) teamed up with Max Factor to develop nail designs that are applied at P&G salons inside the Olympic Village. Niiiiiceee. After peeping these incredible manis all week long, we neededto hear from the nail guru herself! Sophy was nice enough to give us some insider deets on what the nail art scene is like in London during one of the biggest events of the year, and how the Olympic Games could change the nail art world forever.
MTV STYLE: OMG, nail art at the Olympics! We’re so excited! What’s it like doing nail art on the athletes?
SOPHY ROBSON: It was such fun working with the athletes—there are no egos involved and they are just excited to have something represent their country on their nails.
Did you pre-create designs for the athletes or can they request whatever they want?
For Max Factor, I created 207 country flag designs, which are being hand painted on athletes and their families at the P&G salons across London. Each design is based on the flags colors; however people can come in and choose whatever they want or a variation of different flags. It’s really all about making sure the Olympians and their mum are looking and feeling their best throughout the games and showing their love and support for their countries in creative, semi-permanent ways!
What is the most popular nail design the athletes are requesting?
The Union Jack flag! We’ve done thousands and constantly having to order more Max Effect Mini Polishes in Ruby Tuesday and Candy Blue.
What is the craziest nail request you have gotten so far at the Olympics?
Some athletes are born in one place, but residents in another or have connections to other countries, so they tend to mix, match and merge some of the flag designs. In terms of the designs, the New Zealand fern logo was a bit of a challenge, and I had to draw the Guam flag, which has a lot going—there’s a beach, boat and palm tree, all in one oval!
How does it feel to see your designs on TV or even—gasp—wrapped around a gold medal?
I am proud to be part of the whole experience to be honest. In fact, I am feeling very proud to be British at the moment!
How do you think London’s nail art scene has affected the global view of nail art? Do you think it’s making it more mainstream and widely accepted?
I think London, more than any other capital, is the place where expressing yourself through your style is more innovative and inspirational. Londoners are often forced to be creative with their style as they don’t have the budget to spend a lot of money, but they have the resources to make themselves look eye catching and chic. Londoners are generally not afraid to try new things and that’s why we have the ability to influence the world.
The focus on the athletes’ nails has been unprecedented and I think it is brilliant for the nail industry that the mainstream is noticing it. If it takes athletes of world class status to bring nail art in to peoples living rooms and makes it acceptable, then I think it’s a great thing.
Even if you’re not keeping up with the games, by now most of Tumblr has seen nailsdid on the athletes of this summer’s Olympics. Especially the work done by Sophy Robson’s NailPorn. Robson and her team of manicurists have been going hard in the paint literally at the forefront but unfortunately due to politics, cannot announce their lovely labor at this time. That’s the tricky part about this site, things can get lost in the Tumblr universe. But if you’ve been keeping up with the tweets and tumbles, you already know the difference between derivative and NailPorn official. If you don’t, revoke your nail card now! Just kidding! But it is important to be conscious of accuracy no matter who’s behind the design. People always want their proper credit so do the homework and shoutout the source.
Continue to show love and always know what’s up, thank you! x
Knocked up a sample wheel for V festival. Fingers crossed we’ll be V.I.Ping it (Taken with Instagram)
By Ann Binlot via Artinfo
Is “Nailed” really the first book on nail culture?
A little over a year ago I started Googling “nail culture.” I found there were no books on nail culture. It was one of those things that freaked me out. I went to the library, I started Googling, and I just kept looking and nothing would come up. I looked up the “history of nail culture,” on Amazon, on eBay. There was nothing at all. So then, just as a joke, I thought that would be really crazy if I actually produced the first book on nail culture. So I started putting together this PDF, just the idea behind it. Then I talked to Claire Darrow, who is the creative director for Andre Balazs. [The Standard Hotel] started their own imprint with Damiani. She had offered for me to do their second book during Art Basel. That’s how the project really started. So I started really seriously investigating the history of nail culture.
Why does the story of nail art need be told?
I found that the nail techs and their clients had the same appreciation and passion, as do artists, collectors and curators. I felt they had a story to tell. The more involved I became, the more I learned this really is an art form, albeit underground and now recently (if taking score from the amount of press this project has received) has been accepted into the realm of mainstream pop culture. My goal for this project has never changed. It was to spark a discussion and have the public walk away feeling they discovered something new, authentic and interesting.
Why are nails an important area of adornment?
In certain parts of the world, the history of applying paint, dye and adornments onto nails represented a spiritual, cultural and social status. So its only natural there has become an evolution with people using this same concept as a form of personal identity and creative expression.
Nail art is really getting elevated into a trendy form of self-expression. What do you think of that?
It’s actually interesting, just because I’ve been working on this project and the publication for so long that I’ve been seeing the hype and the gentrification happen on nail art. It’s been really surprising, just because I’d been researching it for so long to see it gain this almost global phenomenon in the past several months. But knowing that I had been working on this for the past year and a half or so, it actually created a little anxiety, because I knew I had to get this out right away. Just because of timing, I didn’t want this to seem like an immediate decision. This has been in the works for a while, so I’m actually really happy to see it. I love the idea of community and custom culture, and that’s what my studio practice is really about. So to be honest, the whole idea of this nail culture and this salon is just an extension of my studio practice, so to me it’s a very natural thing. But to see it as an outsider and how it’s crossed over into pop culture, it’s really strange for me to see because I’ve been obsessed and I’ve been a fan for several years.
Full interview here
What up gangsta!
If there was anything outside of Watch The Throne and seeing ‘The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo’ (David Fincher), that I was tryna do… definitely on the list would have been to make it to the merry nailporn party. Seeing London life, experimenting with vajazzle, and getting hit while hooking up my tips….aww man! Would have been something. But I know Sophy nem will have a blast! And I can’t wait to see the recap. Cheers yall!
Sophy Robson’s CHRISTMAS nail menu for tonight down at ‘Merry @nailporn’