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Lil Yachty nail polish
Courtesy of Crete

Lil Yachty launches nail polish brand Crete to help men express themselves


TextAlex Peters

The rapper is hoping to break the stigma of men wearing nail polish

Back in 2019, A$AP Rocky spoke out about how manicures should be more accepted among men, telling Vogue “I feel like men should be able to do nail art without feeling feminine.” Now another rapper is launching a nail polish range to push that acceptance one step further.

Lil Yachty has announced the launch of Crete, a unisex brand designed to make nail painting accessible and approachable for everyone, but particularly men. “If you find painting your nails is a way to show your creative side or it’s an aesthetic that fits you, you shouldn’t be judged for it,” the former Dazed 100-er shared in the press release. “Outside opinion shouldn’t have an effect on your aesthetic and whatever you decide to do and this line is a reflection of that.” Available from May 21, the brand will debut with the “Negatives 001” collection featuring shades of white, light grey, and black all packaged in a pen-like design.

Yachty first teased the brand in December in response to 17-year-old student Trevor Wilkinson being suspended from his school in Texas for having painted nails. “If someone wants to express themself in any type of way, as long as it’s not harming anyone or bringing anyone down, they should be allowed to do so,” he said at the time in defence of Wilkinson. “You shouldn’t be punished or tormented for being you.” He added that he hoped his brand would help men feel more comfortable in their own skin. “It’s about to be 2021—come on, what are barriers? We still have barriers?”

This brand comes at a time when more and more men and non-binary people are rebelling against stifling gender constructs and embracing nail art. In 2019, Jonathan Van Ness became the first non-female brand ambassador for nail brand Essie, while last year fans went crazy for Harry Styles’s sunny manicure in the music video for “Golden”. Chanel’s make-up for men collection, “Boy de Chanel,” recently launched matte nail polish in two neutral shades. 

On the make-up front, campaigns such as Troye Sivan for MAC and Glossier and Luka Sabbat for Milk Makeup have signalled a turning tide of how we gender beauty. Marc Jacobs, himself a fan of a good manicure, recently spoke about a future where men are comfortable wearing make-up. “There will come a day when people won’t gender accessories or clothes or make-up,” he said. “I think it’s not happened yet, but it’s definitely out there.”

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