Sophy Robson backstage at Christopher Kane's show during London Fashion Week.
Photo: Courtesy of Sophie Jones
So, the Olympics are still happening, and yeah, the U.S. has won 18 gold medals (so far), which is AMAZING and GREAT and everything, but despite all that, there seems to be another part of the games that people can't stop talking about—the nail art. We've already showed you all the killer designs that athletes have sported thus far, but haven't you been wondering just HOW every competitor got their hands on such mind-blowing manis? Well, as it turns out, one of London's biggest nail artists Sophy Robson (who some have deemed the "Nail Queen") teamed up with Max Factor to develop nail designs that are applied at P&G salons inside the Olympic Village. Niiiiiceee. After peeping these incredible manis all week long, we needed to hear from the nail guru herself! Sophy was nice enough to give us some insider deets on what the nail art scene is like in London during one of the biggest events of the year, and how the Olympic Games could change the nail art world forever.
MTV STYLE: OMG, nail art at the Olympics! We're so excited! What's it like doing nail art on the athletes?
SOPHY ROBSON: It was such fun working with the athletes—there are no egos involved and they are just excited to have something represent their country on their nails.
Did you pre-create designs for the athletes or can they request whatever they want?
For Max Factor, I created 207 country flag designs, which are being hand painted on athletes and their families at the P&G salons across London. Each design is based on the flags colors; however people can come in and choose whatever they want or a variation of different flags. It’s really all about making sure the Olympians and their mum are looking and feeling their best throughout the games and showing their love and support for their countries in creative, semi-permanent ways!
What is the most popular nail design the athletes are requesting?
The Union Jack flag! We’ve done thousands and constantly having to order more Max Effect Mini Polishes in Ruby Tuesday and Candy Blue.
Some of Sophy Robson's Olympic nail designs.
Photo: Via Sophy Robson's Instagram
What is the craziest nail request you have gotten so far at the Olympics?
Some athletes are born in one place, but residents in another or have connections to other countries, so they tend to mix, match and merge some of the flag designs. In terms of the designs, the New Zealand fern logo was a bit of a challenge, and I had to draw the Guam flag, which has a lot going—there’s a beach, boat and palm tree, all in one oval!
How does it feel to see your designs on TV or even—gasp—wrapped around a gold medal?
I am proud to be part of the whole experience to be honest. In fact, I am feeling very proud to be British at the moment!
How do you think London's nail art scene has affected the global view of nail art? Do you think it's making it more mainstream and widely accepted?
I think London, more than any other capital, is the place where expressing yourself through your style is more innovative and inspirational. Londoners are often forced to be creative with their style as they don’t have the budget to spend a lot of money, but they have the resources to make themselves look eye catching and chic. Londoners are generally not afraid to try new things and that’s why we have the ability to influence the world.
The focus on the athletes’ nails has been unprecedented and I think it is brilliant for the nail industry that the mainstream is noticing it. If it takes athletes of world class status to bring nail art in to peoples living rooms and makes it acceptable, then I think it’s a great thing.