By Michelle London-Bell, Managing Editor
It was fall of 2010 and the streets of Manhattan were buzzing. Industry insiders waited with bated breath to see the hottest, fresh trends of the season hit the runways at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. The usual suspects were present -- from industry vets like Diane Von Furstenberg, Versace and Dolce + Gabbana to newer 'it' brands du jour like Zac Posen, Rachel Zoe and Jason Wu. Each designer is chomping at the bit to introduce a fresh flair to their brand to leave an indelible imprint on both fashion and popular culture. Enter Butter London, a top nail lacquer and beauty line, with a team of creative-minded manicurists. This team was created with one mission in mind: to craft nail art which impeccably complements Nicole Miller, Alexander Wang and Calvin Klein fall collections. "During that time, nails became more-like center stage during fashion shows," says Adrienne Blanks, a licensed manicurist and self-proclaimed 'nailologist.'
Blanks, a Houston native and graduate of the University of Texas was handpicked to join this team, due to her demonstrated 'flair for the unexpected' and artistic talents. A film major, Blanks worked in publishing until she discovered her gift. "A few years ago, the [publishing] industry got tough due to the economy and the transition to digital, so it was then that I realized that publishing was not the only thing I was interested in."
After attending a beauty school in New York City and heading up a nail station at a friend's trunk show, it was then that Blanks decided her destiny was to start her own line of nail colors. "For some reason, everyone would ask me about the colors used - if it was my own brand, so it finally clicked to do the research to see how to start my own line. I launched it in 2011 with three colors and I began adding additional colors in 2012." Since its inception, her line has been featured in several editorial spreads, including the February 2013 issue of Angeleno Magazine, as well as Brooklyn Fashion Week. And Brooklyn is the heart of where she executes operations, a place she credits for inspiration due to its eclectic environment.
The line is called D.I.D. Nail Paint, an eco-friendly, highly pigmented nail color collection. The colors are fresh, vibrant and ultra chic - with high quality lacquer delivering even and high gloss coats. She credits the name of her line to her Southern heritage, growing up in Missouri City, Texas. "We would say that you got your nails did, so I did a tongue-in-cheek word play on the phrase, but I also wanted [the acronym] to mean something...design in divinity." And divine design it is -- since her company also enacts a 'divine mission' to empower battered and abused women through proceeds from D.I.D. Nail Paint's campaigns.
When asked if all of this seems surreal - she merely shrugs. "It does, but it will not seem completely real until my collection for D.I.D. is featured at New York Fashion Week." She can tell that this is truly her calling by the feedback she has received. "I have entered a few business competitions for retail giants like Walmart and Scion by Toyota, and have been a finalist so I know I have something good here."
Blanks currently resides in New York City but her collections are just a click away at getyournailsdid.com.