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This story first appeared in the December 14, 2012 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
To manicure maverick Charlotte Knight, the shiny finish on traditional nail lacquers seems downright boring. The energetic British entrepreneur, and founder of the niche nail-care line Ciaté, has turned the whole notion of nail polish on its ear with textural—and in some cases three-dimensional—nail finishes such as caviar, sequins and velvet. All three textures, which are sold in two-step kits, proved to be bestsellers this year for the five-year-old company. Knight, a nail technician by training who previously operated a chain of nail bars by the same name, created the nail-products line in 2007. She launched Ciaté in the U.S. this past January, attracting the attention of Sephora, Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s and Lord & Taylor. Celebrities and models are also fans. Knight’s clients include Helena Christensen, Agyness Deyn and Jessica Stam, among others. The Ciaté collection includes a rainbow assortment of intensely pigmented nail lacquers, ranging from Glametal (deep gold glitter) to Skinny Jeans (electric blue), an assortment that’s as vibrant as this brand’s future.