Logo nail art has been sweeping across our social feeds recently, the logos of famous fashion houses are being painted onto nails, for DIY designer looks. We have seen popular designs including the iconic interlocking Cs for Chanel, as well as ‘L’ and ‘V’ for luxury retailer Louis Vuitton. The bold red and white colours of US brand Supreme have also proved popular, alongside Tommy Hilfiger, Fendi and Balenciaga.
We spoke to fashion consultant, Mandi Lennard, to talk all things nails and find out her thoughts on Logo Nail Art.
Mandi Lennard is the founder of creative consultancy Mandi’s Basement who’s clients include: Matty Bovan, Ace Hotel, Bistrotheque, LOVE Magazine, and Barbie. She has been described as the veritable patron saint of fashionable east London, having launched the careers of many designers over the years, (including Gareth Pugh, Kim Jones, Nasir Mazhar, and Roksanda Ilincic). She organises events for brands such as: Dior, Burberry, LOVE, M·A·C Cosmetics, Miu Miu, and Sarabande; The Lee Alexander McQueen Foundation.
She is a Global Ambassador for Graduate Fashion Week, and sits on several fashion juries, including Fashion East (both mens and women’s), and IFS (International Fashion Showcase), a collaboration between the British Fashion Council and the British Council. She is an External Assessor for BA and MA Fashion at Central Saint Martins, and gives regular talks on fashion and marketing at various institutions including: V&A, Royal College of Art and Central Saint Martins, and is a panelist and chair on SHOWstudio‘s live show reviews. She is a Contributing Editor for ES Magazine (London Evening Standard).
I started getting nail extentions around 2003. I’ve always been a bit of a tomboy, and felt it was a nice feminine touch. However, they’ve got longer and longer; you lose perspective on what a reasonable length should be. I once saw a photo of myself in the New York Times at Fashion Week mistakenly credited as a Vogue editor, who I felt so sorry for, as I looked like Freddy Kreuger.
Every three to four weeks.
I go to a family-run nail bar near Finsbury Park. I keep my airbrush colours there, which I buy off ebay, as well as my stencils, which my sister makes for me on her digital cutter, from logos that I email to her – Nike, Air Jordan, BMX, and a load of hip hop logos. I sometimes have their dollar charms drilled to hang off my nails, although they never last more than a day, and you’re then left with a hole.
I love logos, I’ve always loved the vulgarity. In fact, the real designer pieces I have look totally fake, although I do have a fake Louis Vuitton football in my living room, which I display as an assemblage in the curve of a broken New York yellow taxi bumper that I found on Broadway. I collect Chanel store signs. I have a Chanel tattoo on one of my finger’s (I’m over it tbh), and a Louis Vuitton one on my ankle, as well as a Wu-Tang logo inside my wrist. I’m inspired by the marbled nails in the window of one of the nail bars I saw on my way to work from the East Village to Chinatown, when I moved to New York, just after 9/11. There was one nail bar on Clinton Street in the Lower East Side, where the guy used to give me a super fast 6-colour airbrush, while he simultaneously chatted on his cellphone.
My original logo inspo was Stussy in the early 90s and their take on the Louis Vuitton monogram. I still have a Supreme skatedeck from 2000, which features theirs. Around that time, I ordered 500 of Artomatic’s version, printed onto bin liners and a few rolls of matching packing tape. The day after they delivered it to me, they were raided by the counterfeit fraud squad, and made to burn the rest. I also love anything McDonald’s and have one of the original illuminated restaurant signs.
Logos on nails isn’t such a new thing, it’s always been popular. While I was in New Orleans last Christmas, Missy Elliott’s nail artist Beedy gave me the wildest nails I’ve ever had. She spent nearly 40 minutes filing them to a sharp point, and then in lightening speed, applied gorgeous Swarovski crystals, each nail different, but extraordinary. When I arrived she kind of chuckled at my nails, accusing my Nike logos of being so 90s, yet by the time I left, she was determined to get some airbrush practice in, as she knew her customers would love to have logos.
I hate nail varnish. One coat is never enough, and two coats is too much, so I am a bit old skool, in that I always have an airbrush. Katie Grand, Editor-in-Chief of LOVE Magazine, just introduced me to Mei Kawajiri, who’s definitely the right side of wild! I like that she goes for totally impractical 3D appliqué, and has just a hint of the requisite kitsch. I guess I’m a bit stuck in my own rut, in that I like squared tips, when oval or pointed seem to be the direction. While everyone strives for slick, I like the authenticity, when the airbrushed logo comes out a bit blurred.
Thank you Mandi!