NEW YORK — Vincent Butta, former co-president of Advertising Display Company, the firm responsible for Sephora’s trademark black fixtures, has taken on a new role in the beauty industry.

Since May 1, Butta has been president of Dashing Diva, a fledgling firm that combines the services of a professional nail salon with a retail operation that emphasizes artificial nail sets.

ADC had been acquired by Heritage Marketing Corp. in 1999, and Butta left the following year. Before joining Dashing Diva, he had served as chief executive officer of Agence 21, a digital imaging company. Heritage subsequently sold ADC in 2002 to the Rock-Tenn Company.

Three-year-old Dashing Diva currently operates two kiosks — in Palisades Center Mall in West Nyack, N.Y., and at the Galleria Mall in White Plains, N.Y. This fall it will open a 2,000-square-foot flagship in Manhattan, according to Butta. Dashing Diva is a division of KMC Exim, a Port Washington, N.Y.-based design nail manufacturer that also makes products for the Broadway and Kiss brands.

Butta insists that a new artificial nail product from Dashing Diva called Virtual Nails “will revolutionize the artificial nail category.” He explained that Virtual Nails will come in a variety of sizes offering every finger a proper fit.

“When you go buy a pair of shoes, there are a variety of sizes to choose from,” Butta pointed out. “Virtual Nail is a full nail and comes in a large number of shapes and sizes, along with a measuring device to determine what your nail size is.” In marketing materials the new nails are described as “a system of full coverage nails that exactly replicates the width, curve and arc of her natural nail like never before.”

Once the Manhattan flagship is open, the two kiosks will be revamped to reflect the newer look of the store, said Butta. As reported in September, the company also intends to franchise the Dashing Diva concept to independent salon operators who can add a modular version of the salon within its business.

Dashing Diva stands apart because it combines professional and retail operations. Butta said most nail salons only have a limited offering of retail products, if any at all. Artificial nail sets for home use have been sold primarily in drugstores and mass merchandisers.Butta said Dashing Diva has international potential and the company has been in talks with interested parties in France, the U.K. and Japan. In the U.S., he expects a Dashing Diva to eventually be in “every town in the country.”

Product is also sold via Online sales have been temporarily suspended, but will begin anew on June 2 when the new product catalog is ready.

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