Inside the CND Design Lab
Last season we took you backstage, but this winter we're showing you another side of Fashion Week. Step inside the CND Design Lab, where top nail artists (including our very own Julie Ventura) create the looks for some of New York Fashion Week's most exciting shows.

This New York Fashion Week, a dream of ours came true—we got an invite to visit the CND Design Lab. CND is legendary in the nail game, and the company's devotion (especially co-founder Jan Arnold's) to pushing the boundaries of nail art is never more apparent than when the brand sponsors shows during New York Fashion Week. CND entered the Fashion Week game over 19 years ago, when as Jan Arnold will tell you, nails were an afterthought. Things have changed in a big way during the last two decades, and nails now play an important role in shaping a runway look.

Our very own manicurist, Julie Ventura, was invited to participate in the Lab this season. During her time at the Lab, she worked on nails for Paintbox neighbor—and downtown favorite—Opening Ceremony. Nails artists working on the Opening Ceremony nails spent over 270 hours creating the look and used a football field in length of striping tape (used to create perfect, crisp lines). 

The CND-assembled team also worked on nails for Libertine and The Blonds (a notoriously outrageous show that many NYFW veterans look forward to each season). The elaborate and totally custom nails for these two shows were serious showstoppers worthy of their own runway show. Never mind the clothes!

Image above courtesy of CND / Getty Images.

In progress: the nails for Opening Ceremony.

Julie working on the look for Opening Ceremony; the finished nails.

In progress: one of the over-the-top looks for Libertine.

The beginnings of the nails for The Blonds; Jan Arnold's incredible Fashion Week manicure.

Find out more about CND's involvement in Fashion Week at their digital HQ for all things runway nail art.