You’ve probably noticed it for yourself: more and more men – yes, also straight guys – are discovering the joys of manicures and nail polish. To spoil the male public in particular, the Italian nail brand Faby teamed up with the renowned Egyptian designer Karim Rashid for a colorful summer collection : Love Kolor @ New York. We asked Karim Rashid why the world is ready now for colorful men’s nails ?
You’re a pioneer also when it comes to nail polish. I heard you integrated nail polish in your life long way back. Do you remember your first time wearing nail polish?
Karim Rashid: “All my life I loved pink – in fact I designed and wore a two-piece pink fitted satin suit to my high school graduation with pink nail polish and pink hair when I was sixteen. But after university I felt insecure to wear nail polish and only started wearing it again in the last ten years. I wear mostly white color though and now the Mrs. Liberty pink from my new collection for Faby. I also bought an entire wardrobe of purples in the last few years so I wear Chelsea boy purple too.”
Do you think the world is ready for men with colored nails now?
Karim Rashid: “Absolutely! It’s becoming far more commonplace. I see several men in New York wearing nail polish. In 2015 you think that we could drop uniforms and be who we want to be. No one should conform to status quo. We should all be original and self-expressive. Historically men wore dresses, panty hose, wigs, make-up. I don’t know why today we are so conservative and why nail polish on men is so taboo.”
What is the added value of nail polish for a man or for his outfit?
Karim Rashid: “I always had a great interest in ‘hard fashion goods’ like shoes, eyeglasses, bags, watches, and the other products that adorn and accessorize our bodies. Nail polish is just another extension of that. Along with my tattoo’s it’s my way of expressing myself and using my body as a canvas.”
How did you choose the colors for the nail polish collection you established with Faby?
Karim Rashid: “I choose the colors that speak to me and my life and the digital age and imbue energy into our human spirit. I believe in living beyond the reach of outside influences.”
Don’t you think the colors are too feminine. Personally I would have chosen dark and metallic colors and even nail polish with structures like liquid sand?
Karim Rashid: “I must say I hate this notion of gender difference in fashion and objects. What does that mean? If we lived in a parallel universe where men wore make up and women did not, then you would never ask such a question. I always hated the idea that our objects are so gender cliché. For example a razor form gillette is soft and shapely and pink or baby blue for women and hard and silver and black for men. It is time we stop getting seduced by these cliches and just have fabulous unisex products. I selected a palette of my favorite colors adding in some silver, neutrals and dark purple with very small sparkling additives to create a reflective sheen with depth and richness. I know what you are saying but Faby did a collection of men’s nail polish in those shades last year with an Italian rockstar. And 85% of the polish was bought by women anyway. I suspect that women will buy my collection. It is also for women of course.”
Which is your favorite color from the Faby Love Kolor @ New York collection and why?
Karim Rashid: “Pink (though there are endless different shades) is a positive and orgulous color – that is why I picked it. Light pinks are poetic, dreamy, sensual, erotic – hot pinks are flora, digipop, exciting, powerful, alive, and hyperrealism. Pink in general communicates a positive, uplifting, really elevating sense of pleasure, yet also entropy, enthalpy and total energy of strong optimistic presence. Once GQ magazine said I made pink masculine.”
Is there any color that’s ‘not done’ for men?
Karim Rashid: “The human eye can see over 1 Million colors! Why limit ourselves?”
Why you started this collaboration with Faby and not with another brand like eg Dior? Please explain. Who contacted who?
Karim Rashid: “I met Alessandro Viale, Faby Line Project & Communication Manager, from Faby at the Salone Internationale del Mobile in Milan, the biggest design fair in the world. A friend of his mentioned me, saying they knew I always wore nail polish. They tracked me down at a launch party in Milan and it was the start of a brilliant collaboration! And frankly Dior and many other fashion houses are too conservative to do such a thing as Faby has done.”
Apart from the Faby nail polish, what is your favorite beauty product?
Karim Rashid: “I have quite a beauty regiment. I use Origins and all natural and organic cosmetics daily. I use Kiehl’s shaving cream (the bets in the world for shaving but I wish they could reformulate it without preservatives and some of the chemical they use), I use a retinol masks once every 3 days, I take 27 supplements day. I run 10km per day, and workout constantly. I sleep 8 hours a night. I am developing my own perfume to be launched next year.”
I can image some man not feeling comfortable in applying nail polish, do you have some suggestions?
Karim Rashid: “IN NYC a manicure is only $10 everywhere so walk in and do it and you will be hooked the rest of your life. There is nothing to feel uncomfortable about. Getting a manicure is such a relaxing experience. Everyone should present themselves with clean perfect hands and nails. Try getting a clear polish to finish the look if you’re uncomfortable with color. Men would be surprised how enjoyable a manicure and pedicure can be. Our hands touch 600 objects a day! Might as well reward them for all their hard work.”
How would you suggest a beginner to start wearing nail polish: all the way, just one nail, …?
Karim Rashid: “One nail is a great start. I suggest first wearing clear polish to get used to having manicures. Then transaction to either black or white. Then color.”
Do you have suggestions for applying the nail polish in a creative way?
Karim Rashid: “Enclosed ‘(see picture above) is an image of my nails done with my icons. I had that done several times. I also like when you do each finger with a different color – but the color mix must be right. Be you. Be free. Globalove, Karim”