Within sneaker culture, there’s always been a connection between sneakers and nail art. Rooted in the fine art of coordination, a manicure design inspired by a favorite pairs of kicks is an artful way to put a next-level feminine twist on an outfit.
Taking home all the design trophies this year is Los Angeles-based Henny (Instagram: @hennykicksit) who has dedicated the year to creating a series of sneaker-inspired manicures. Not only does Henny have a legit, deep appreciation for sneaker culture, as it happens she found a true partner with rock star nail artist Chaun P, who not only sees her vision but executes it perfectly.
We were so impressed by Henny and Chaun’s designs we reached out to her by email. Check out our exchange below.
Snobette: When did you come up with the idea of coordinating your mani with your sneakers?
Henny: “I came up with the idea in late 2017 and decided to give it a try in the beginning of 2018. I usually get a new set every month so I reached out to my good friend, who coincidentally is the best nail tech here in Los Angeles, and told him my vision. And because he’s a creative himself, he was down for the project and here we are today on set No. 6.
“The reason why I started doing the manis is because I knew I could set myself apart and stand out with designs inspired by something I’m truly passionate about. I love sneakers so much and anyone who knows me knows my nails are always done. Since before I was a teenager, I’ve always enjoyed getting creative with them so expressing the concept match made in sneaker heaven.”
Snobette: Can you tell me the name of your nail artist?
Henny: “His name is Chaun (Instagram: @chaunlegend). He’s worked with very many high-profile clients in Los Angeles and is a perfectionist. It’s impossible to leave his chair not satisfied.
Snobette: What has been your favorite set thus far?
Henny: “Honestly we always try to top our previous set so I would say my current, Jordan 1 Satin ‘Shattered Backboard’ nails are my current favorite.”
Snobette: How do you work together to execute the design?
Henny: “I’ll usually send him photos of the sneaker along with the backstory. Then we both have time to draw inspiration from the shoe and when it’s actually time to execute we both will have ideas or opinions on which nail should be what and from there the nail set flourishes!”
Snobette: Nail art can be very tricky because the canvas is so tiny! Have there been any ideas that fell flat once applied?
Henny: “It happens from time to time, but we always come up with a plan B, which usually ends up being better then plan A, lol.”
Snobette: What do you think are some of the key design elements that go into a perfect set?
Henny: “The sneaker has to have the hype factor as well as an eye catching design. At the same time, I try to always pick sneakers most people would enjoy looking at without knowing anything about its back story.”
Snobette: What are the top five sneakers in rotation for you at the moment?
- Nike Air Max 180 x Comme des Garçons in pink and black: they are so comfy yet so cute on the foot.
- Nike x Off-White Vapormax from the original “The Ten” drop. I love that they’re such a statement sneaker. What Virgil did with that entire collection was genius.
- Nike Air Max 97 x Sean Wotherspoon: I’m so grateful to have that sneaker. It’s so beautiful from the colorway to the corduroy material story. Sean is very inspiring in general. I’m a huge fan of vintage and a regular at his store, Round Two. Seeing someone like him from the same side of the country I’m from come to Los Angeles and have success with his business plus win that Nike contest and have the design be successful and make a huge impact on this culture? That gives gives me hope I can do it one day too–nothing but respect to him.
- Nike Air Max 97 Swarovski is always a go to as well. That sneaker is something special. Every time I put it on I feel like a princess.
- Nike Air Max 95 x Atmos “Animal Pack”: they so butter!
Snobette: I know you were frustrated by how the Jordan Satin release was gobbled up by guys and resellers. Do you think there’s a way brands can make obtaining coveted shoes easier for women?
Henny: “Yeah I do. Companies like Jordan and Nike have the financial resources to do things differently, epecially for a special, limited release. For instance, cities like Los Angeles, New York, Miami could have held female-based events for this sneaker. Sneaker companies spend money creating events for releases all the time, why not us? We could have had the opportunity to purchase the sneaker and celebrate it without the worries of resellers showing up to take a shoe designed for us. As well, there could have been a female-only raffle at the retailers that received the sneakers.
“Honestly, I have lot of ideas dealing with sneaker releases in general. Maybe one of these companies will hire me one day and we can make a change! We’ll see what the future holds but until then I’m living in the moment & copping many as I can lol!”
Snobette: What sneaker is currently on your wish list?
Henny: “Everything that’s on my wish list are either higher-end sneakers or sneakers I’d literally have to get a custom sample made since my foot is so small! But the Nike Red October in a size 4.5 would be a DREAM. I’d do a 5, too. Also, those new Chanel sport runners that dropped recently in the orange, black and white colorway are fire as well.”
Snobette: What is your all-time favorite, go-to sneaker?
Henny: “Nike Air Max Plus TN Air in an OG colorway will forever be my favorite.”