HYPEBAE Manicure Guide: Match Your Nails With Your Favorite Streetwear Brands

Nails by Mei Kawajiri – the nail artist even Demna Gvasalia calls on.

4,192 Hypes

You may recognize Mei Kawajiri by her nail art plastered all over Instagram. Her designs are changing up what a manicure means, applauded by not only their attention to detail but by innovative edge.

Her career began in Japan where a 17-year-old Mei learned the basics. She would go on to open her own salon in Harajuku in 2006 and later decided to start anew in New York City. By 2017, her clients span Nike, colette, Vogue and more – it even counts Vetements’ Demna Gvasalia who called on Mei to work the Balenciaga men’s show during the Fall 2017 season. Notably, Mei happens to also be the only beauty creative at The Society.

Now she’s curated a HYPEBAE editorial, including all your beloved streetwear brands in manicure-style. Favor the pastel Anti Social Social Club or the iconic Gucci vintage logo? BAPE, Champion x Vetements and this year’s best, Supreme x Louis Vuitton, complete. Check out the editorial above, and read a quick interview with Mei below. Which look will you be requesting at your next appointment?

Streetwear Nail Art Editorial Mei Kawajiri NAILS BY MEI

Your interest in nail art – how and when did it start?

My interest in art has been my entire life. Nail art began in Japan when I was 17, and it really took off.

What was it like working with Demna Gvasalia and Lotta Volkova on the recent men’s show?

Demna and Lotta have helped my dreams come true, especially in bringing nail art to men’s shows — that’s been my biggest wish.

They are the two most creative people I’ve had the honor of working with and continue to push what’s possible in fashion.

Do you think there’s a changing attitude towards nail art and its role in beauty?

Yes! Men are welcoming nail art more and more, and to be a part of that is a dream.

Streetwear Nail Art Editorial Mei Kawajiri NAILS BY MEI

What is the most requested look in your memory?

“Free the Nipple” is my biggest hit so far.

What was the most challenging design ever requested?

There is no challenge I’m not willing to take on. It’s all art to me and I love it.

Do you have any advice to give to budding artist manicurists?

Practice, practice, practice! Find inspiration in everyday life. This makes for the best nail art.

What’s next?

You will have to wait and see…

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Jade Chung
Joyce Mao