This week’s boss babe truly takes the cake when it comes to boasting an impressive resume. Not only is she building a killer name for herself as a nail artist thanks to partnerships with Chromat and Bass Coat, she’s also an HGSE (Harvard Graduate School of Education) graduate who is deeply rooted in the social justice/education system, currently serving as a manager at the Urban Arts Program.
As if that weren’t enough, her stunning looks (courtesy of her Japanese & Jewish background) and Brooklyn-chill personal style makes for a winning combination that leaves us all girl crushing pretty damn hard.
We had the chance to shoot the shit with Eda in her cozy abode and chatted memorable projects, career struggles, and favorite restaurants. Get to know this week’s babe we want to be, then find her on Insta and give her a follow.
Eda Midori (Lady Fancy Nails)
Nail Artist and Program Manager at Urban Arts Partnership
Thing you miss most about The Bay:
Taco trucks, slappin’ in the whip, my family and friends
Favorite thing in your closet:
Oversized white peacoat from Topshop
Beauty product you couldn’t live without:
Essential item to survive the winter:
Last song played on your Spotify:
What initially drew you to nail art?
I have always been an artist and have built a long career rooted in social justice work focused on youth empowerment. Much of my work with young people revolves around radical healing and creating platforms for them to develop their capacity as community and global change agents.
It was actually within this line of work that I was introduced to nail art. A student I was working with at a high school in Berkeley, CA had been doing her nails at lunch, which piqued my interest. She taught me how to use nail art tools and directed me to where to get all the supplies.
Later, while I was in grad school at Harvard, nail art became a creative outlet from the world of academia. Word got around campus that I could do nails and I developed a small group of regular clients. It was great to expose women to nail art as an elevated and unique form of expression that accentuate femininity and power. I’ve continue exploring this since moving to New York and working at Urban Arts Partnership, NYC’s largest arts-education organization. This has allowed me to thrive in the intersection of both passions. Working with young people is a constant source of inspiration; they are able to imagine the world outside the confines of an adult perspective and expand those boundaries in interesting and creative ways.
How would you describe your signature style when it comes to nail art?
Commanding. Bold. Powerful. I create nail art designs that reflects a strong architectural and linear inspiration. My work and philosophy as an artist centralizes on the notion that nail art externalizes the unique, inherent strength that women possess.
What’s the most memorable project you’ve done?
More recently, the most exciting collaboration I’ve done is with Chromat. I’ve worked with Chromat and Cirque Colors for two seasons (NYFW SS15 and AW15) in creating nail art designs inspired by the line to be featured on the runway. Another on-going project that I’m really excited about is BASS COAT — an audiovisual collaboration between my good friend DJ Creelfish and myself. We create mixes, produce events, and curate art shows that integrate music and nail art. Last December, we organized the Flavourhood x BASS COAT Pop Up Gallery in Oakland, CA which presented the premiere fusion of nail art, visuals, and music. We’re building on the success of the event and will be bringing BASS COAT back to New York this summer. Stay tuned!
Do you ever base your outfits on your nails?
Absolutely — my nails are always reflective of my overall aesthetic. My style is fairly casual but I love wearing jewelry. I feel that nail art serves a similar purpose as jewelry in that it’s stylized armor.
What’s been the biggest struggle in your career thus far?
Like most people in NYC, creating balance and making sure that I’m investing in self-care. Managing my career as an educator, running a business and nurturing my craft as a nail artist is really demanding. I’ve been actively working on maintaining my physical, spiritual and emotional health through mindfulness practices like yoga and meditation.
If you could have a drink with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be?
Octavia Butler, a renounce science fiction and Afrofuturism author.
Best part about living in Brooklyn?
Brooklyn is the creative nexus of the world. The city is the meeting point of many young and vibrant artists that are pushing and expanding boundaries by challenging the traditional norms of identity, culture and creativity. I feel honored to be both a consumer and contributor of this community.
Current NYC restaurant obsession?
Samurai Mama. It’s a Japanese udon noodle shop in Williamsburg. I’m hapa (half Japanese and half Jewish) and the flavors of the broth is deeply familiar and comforting. It makes me feel at home.
Photography by Vanessa Granda