Working as a model on Whelmina’s plus-size board in her 20s, Ruth Kallens was never satisfied with her manicures. “I was always doing them myself,” she says, “and walking into a nail salon, it always smelled awful, like toxic chemicals.” Years later, after leaving a career in beauty public relations to run her own social media marketing consultancy, she was introduced to the world of professional nail technicians and artists via her client, Deborah Lippmann. Thus was born her next business: Van Court, a nontoxic nail studio that Kallens opened in March in Manhattan’s Financial District. The salon’s staff comprises editorial nail techs whom Kallens says are paid more than twice the hourly rate of comparable high-end nail salons in Manhattan. Polishes, from brands like Deborah Lippmann, RGB and Londontown, are all at least five-free. Nails are air-dried in lieu of UV lights, treatments comprise all-natural products and essential oils, and nail art is done without gel polish. Manicures run from $35 to $65 and pedicures $65 to $85. Though prices are on the steeper side, last year’s New York Times exposé on the exploitative culture of New York nail salons proved to be serendipitous timing for Kallens. “I knew I was onto something,” she says. “It’s made [marketing the salon’s higher prices] a little easier.” Plans call for a Van Court-branded nail- and hand-care line, as well as a Los Angeles location, but ultimately, Kallens sees the salon expanding into a continuing education center for certification in clean practices. In New York, Van Court has attracted a wide customer base—many are young professional women and moms making the trek from Brooklyn and the Upper East Side. “If they don’t have the extra money, they’re putting the budget there because they care about cleanliness [and] health.”[caption id="attachment_10418823" align="alignnone" width="600"] Inside Ruth Kallens' nail salon, Van Court.[/caption]
@juicebeauty, where @gwynethpaltrow holds the title of creative director of makeup, has become one of the foremost labels in the organic beauty category –– with sales on track to hit $100 million this year. What’s behind the rapid growth the brand is experiencing right now? It all started in 2005 when the wellness movement was just getting started. Read more on WWD.com. #wwdbeauty
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"I want to tell a story that inspires people to feel good about themselves, but also I'm making a commentary about the lack of female stories and female directors and saying this should change," said @imheathergraham on her latest project "Half Magic." The comedy feature, which the actress wrote and directed, is based on her own struggles as a woman in show business. Read @andrewnodell's full interview with Graham on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @jgreenery)
@meltcosmetics cofounders @lora_arellano and @danabomar built their brand on a single idea: a true matte lipstick. To set the brand apart, they said they always put their customers first –– including a personalized note in each package. #wwdsummits #wwdbeauty
@moncler unveiled its latest project, #MonclerGenius, yesterday at Milan Fashion Week. The Italian outwear maker gave show-goers a preview of the monthly collections – which were created by eight designers and creative talents including Pierpaolo Piccioli, Simone Rocha, Craig Green and more – that will start rolling out in the summer.