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Sharmadean Reid x ASOS
Sharmadean Reid x ASOS

WAH Nails’ Sharmadean Reid debuts fashion line

The queen of nail art teams up with ASOS on a collection inspired by Princess Diana’s streetwear looks

Today, entrepreneur and nail art queen Sharmadean Reid launches her first fashion line, a collaboration with ASOS inspired by Princess Diana. 

For Reid, who founded WAH Nails in 2008, her road to self-made success took an unorthodox route; beginning at art, not beauty, college. After studying at Saint Martins and pursuing a career in fashion, Reid spotted an opportunity in the exploding nail art trend and opened her nail salon in Dalston. “Had I grown up going to beauty school and working in nails all my life, I don’t think I would have thought of opening a salon that drew on all these different cultures that I’ve had in my youth, like going to clubs, going to restaurants, travelling with fashion and staying in the sickest hotels.” For Reid, the idea for the salon just made sense. “I thought, ‘Nails are cool, I really want to get my nails done all the time and I have some money, so I’m going to open a nail salon where all my mates can hang out.’”

Reid riffs on opposites and contradictions in her work, as is clear in both the nail designs she dreams up and now her new collection. Her reasoning? “I think things are created in the spaces where opposites overlap; new cultures are created, new ideas are created. Put two people in a room that are complete opposites, and if they don’t kill each other fighting they will find something totally unusual and interesting, and come up with an amazing idea.”

“(We) found all these images of Princess Diana in streetwear… she always loved bomber jackets, she actually dressed quite American preppy, she even wore Harvard jumpers” – Sharmadean Reid

For this collection, Reid was inspired by both her West London girlfriends and Princess Diana – an idea that came from a back issue of WAH Zine (the fanzine that preceded the nail salon). “One issue, we did a page called ‘When Di Was Fly’ and myself and Charlotte Roberts from The Mushpit had found all these images of Princess Diana in streetwear… she always loved bomber jackets, she actually dressed quite American preppy, she even wore Harvard jumpers.” Having been asked again and again to produce a collection, she explains, “I didn’t want to do it until I had an idea, and then I had just moved to West London and I felt like a real West London mum, like ‘ah I feel a bit like Princess Diana, dropping the kids off to school’ and I thought: that’s a good idea for a collection, an East London girl moving to West London.”

True to form, the collection of ready-to-wear and accessories includes varsity jackets, pearl chokers and pinstriped suits, as Reid puts it, “half of it’s uptown, half of it’s downtown.”

Sharmadean Reid x ASOS launches October 10, 2016