Nail polishes are often described as accessories for women’s fingernails, making it entirely fitting that Jason Wu will unveil a collaboration with nail polish brand CND at the same time as the designer is expanding his accessories portfolio with the debut of shoes and handbags today during his runway show.
This story first appeared in the September 10, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The Jason Wu Nail Colour & Effects Collection by CND marks Wu’s first domestic foray into beauty, and CND’s first hookup with a designer, although the company has been handling nails at fashion shows for 15 years and has worked with Wu since 2006. The $47 collection launches in May with four shades and one effect for applying on top of polish to add texture.
“Every season I play with different ways of using color in my collection, so it was a natural choice to collaborate with CND on a capsule of nail colors that reflects my aesthetics,” said Wu.
Before Wu, Jan Arnold, co-founder of CND, explained the brand hadn’t connected with the right designer partner that “really understands the role that nails play in a woman’s entire look….Jason gets it.”
The linchpin of the collection’s shades is Miss Wu, a limestone-gray hue with a satin finish that CND originally developed for Wu’s fall runway show using a layering technique. The collection’s boxes are in the shade, which has become a signature of Wu’s brand.
“What he loved about it is it had an undertone of silver that was very masculine, but an upper tone of pink that was very feminine,” said Arnold. “He said that dichotomy completely explains him.”
The collection’s other shades are a dirty rose called Brigitte, a blood red called Veronica and a dark mushroom called Sophia. The effect, which is called Anna, has tiny pieces of silk in it to give nails depth like feathers do on garments.
“The new collection is absolutely in stride with Jason’s positioning,” said Arnold. “He wanted to build a collection of colors that would become a staple in a women’s wardrobe. I would say this collection is less seasonal and more staple.”
The limited edition nail polishes will be available across CND’s distribution in more than 80 countries until a run of 16,500 sets is depleted. Future collections are probable if customers “freak out” about the collection as Arnold predicts.