NAILS BEI MEI
We talked to Mei Kawajiri, the queen of nail art, about washing dishes, celebrity-wishlists and being cute
Anyone who knows a thing or two about nail art has already stumbled across the artist Mei Kawajiri – or Nails by Mei, as she is known on Instagram. Mei’s nail designs are all the rage right now: At the Met Gala a few weeks ago they could be seen on almost every celebrity, while big fashion houses like Balenciaga or Alexander Wang regularly book the Japanese artist for their campaigns and runway shows.
Born in Kyoto, Mei’s journey first brought her to a beauty school in Osaka where she learned classic manicure techniques before moving to New York in 2012. Her own designs, however, are far from classic: picture the most eccentric nails you can imagine, encrusted with chunky crystals or pierced with gold hoops just like Janet Jackson did in the 90s. Even beauty minimalists take one look at Mei’s work and instantly want to have their nails done by the artist. We caught up with her for a quick chat.