Before she was discovered by Steven Meisel and backstage at just about every show at New York Fashion Week, nail maven Jin Soon Choi pedaled around the streets of New York with her entire kit on her back. But Bicycle Jin has come a long way — from her work at YM and Teen Vogue straight to the top of the list for photogs, designers and more any time they want something new and fresh in the world of nails. The latest designer to call on Choi for her polished expertise is Alex Smilovic of Tibi. The designer and Choi teamed up for a limited-edition collection of colors available today.
We’ve spotted the diminutive Choi backstage at Alexander Wang, Prabal Gurung and more at New York Fashion Week, and though she’s one of the most unassuming people backstage, she also happens to be one of the most in-demand painters in the business. Keeping her cool no matter how chaotic the backstage areas get, she’s happy to detail each and every step of the designers’ nail looks for the season. With her New York Times Magazine coverage and her own chain of spas in Manhattan, she’s already a major name in the world of fashion, but the whole world is just now hearing about her. Last year, she released a line of polishes formulated to be user friendly and super shiny, with the longevity of a gel and the ease of a polish. Available at Space.NK stores, the line is all about basics, but seasonal collections are where she lets her creative juices flow. She does, however, leave the naming of her hues to her model friends Karlie and Coco (that’d be Kloss and Rochas, naturally).
For her next act, Choi teamed with Tibi’s Amy Smilovic for a capsule collection (available exclusively at Tibi.com) for a new take on nail art. Instead of her dripping blood (Prabal) or pasty, dusty hues (Wang), she’s developed a five-shade range based on the beauty of rocks and minerals. Opulent and multifaceted, they’re designed to be worn matte for a special depth and textured look or with a glossy topcoat for high shine and a totally different take on the collection’s earthly inspiration. The idea of multi-use hues came from Smilovic’s use of layering and utilitarian pieces in the fall/winter 2013 Tibi runway show. Not only is it a first for the fashion brand, the matte top coat is a first for Choi’s line, and she’s excited to see what at-home nail artists do with her range for Tibi. We’re loving the sparkling black and the color-shifting green, which is a glam take on the season’s must-have army fatigue-inspired coats (complete with leather sleeves). And while the L.A. sun keeps the FTD team away from statement making outerwear, it’s the perfect thing to bring out the sparkles of these shades — even when they’re covered up by a matte topper.
The Tibi x Jin Soon collection is available today at the Tibi Web site.
Images courtesy Jin Soon