Text Dominique Mkhonza
In Greek mythology, it is Eros—the mischievous god of love, physical desire, and loosened limbs—who is identified as the first manicurist. The ritual of nail design is one surrounded in both myth and magic with a history that is over 7,000 years old. Aristocrats during China’s Chou Dynasty are reportedly the first to have truly stepped the game up, using jeweled nail-guards to protect their nails. At the time it was a symbol of wealth and leisure, but nails have definitely grown to be a staple across a variety of cultural circles, with the latest intersection being that of fashion houses and streetwear fashion.
You’re about to see work from a nail tech/artist whose work is truly indicative of the charismatic adventerousness that can exist in the world of manicures. Qui, also known as Q or Quianna, creates custom press-on nails that feel like a mix of future/past, work/play, and pure fun. “My inspiration isn’t really a person or a thing,” Qui shares. “My dreams at night definitely help bring my thoughts together, like colors or patterns. I like doing things I’ve never seen on the daily. I want to normalize what they call ‘crazy nails’ because they are functional if you learn how to use them properly.”
This isn’t your mom’s mani/pedi.
Qui sells her designs on her Instagram page @idunnoqnails, where you’re able to direct message her for a custom set of your own. Successful at constructing a variety of designs that are bold, eccentric, and fresh, Qui utilizes nail art as a tool of playful self-expression. “My mom always was fly. Total 90s Japanese babe, brown lip liner, colorful nails and highlighted hair. So I feel like I gotta be on her level if not go harder than she did at my age,” Qui admits. Whether they’re the techno, futuristic cyber set that is reminiscent of something you could have (but didn’t) see in The Matrix, or a sexy-sweet cocktail of a Louis Vuitton pattern and sparkling cherry decals, you will definitely find a style that you like.
Below we’ve collected a few of our favourites…
It definitely makes you think again about painting your nails beige for the third time.
Check out Qui on Instagram, @idunnoqnails!
You can purchase your own funky set for now via the DM’s.