Remember when on her birthday last year, Bella Hadid flaunted the sleekest and most elegant french manicure, along with a classic, eye-catching twist- two capital “B.” on her thumbs, which could mean “B.ELLA. B.irthday nails”? So, should the credit for her exquisite nails go to Bella Hadid for always choosing the latest nail trends or to her favorite, manicurist Mei Kawajiri who has also created the hip-hop-inspired 3D designs for the Moschino Pre-Fall 2020 show and the Kawaii-informed digits for Marc Jacobs?!
Who is Mei Kawajiri?
Mei Kawajiri, a native of Kyoto, Japan, moved to New York in 2012 after diligently honing her craft at a local beauty school and various salons. She created her Instagram page, under the now-renowned handle name @nailsbymei, and soon garnered a cult following for the offbeat, unique, and signature pop culture-inspired nail designs she posted.
Today, Kawajiri’s name is synonymous with getting the latest nail trends with a twist- she has designed nails for everyone from Bella Hadid, Dua Lipa, to Alexa Demie and Balenciaga and has been honored by the British Fashion Council who named her as one of their New Wave: Creatives ahead of the Fashion Awards.
With the ongoing lockdown, while Kawajiri misses the usual humdrum of people approaching her to coat their nails in the latest nail trend, she has been devoting her free time to making “a lot of great nail art” by finding inspiration all around her. She has been keeping herself busy by designing nail designs reflecting current world affairs, like the Black Lives Matter movement and the coronavirus pandemic.
“At first I tried many different kinds of Stay Home-themed nails, and then I moved on to more unique nail art. Like Earth Day nails, bear-inspired nails, stay horny nails, hospital-themed nails, thank you nails, and many more.”
And finally, what you all have been looking forward to:
Five hottest nail trends for the summer listed by Kawajiri!
- “I’m into metallic greens and purples—they’re much more chic than the regular neon pinks, oranges and greens that we normally see in summer. Shiny colors go well with white, which people often wear in summer. It brings a bit of fun to the overall look.”
- “Another trend I’m into is cream—it’s my new white. Inspired by the 1980s interior, I like to wear it with orangish-red in a French manicure.”
- “Red sequin nails are great summer nails. They’re fresh, and much more fun than glitter.”
- “I love crazy nail styles for the summer. I’ve recently been inspired by Kawaii and 2000s bling, worn long with squared-off tips.”
- “Finally, I’m loving spike nails, which are inspired by Lady Gaga’s new album.”