Exclusive Interview with Digits by Dawn creator Dawn Danielle

Still haven’t booked a manicurist for your big day? No worries. We’ve found the perfect girl for you! Few things endorse the talent of a nail artist like being called to work Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York City by Beyoncé’s own manicurist Lisa Logan. Here mistakes are not allowed. Tents are packed with arrogant models, aloof celebrities, and beauty technicians amongst it all working at the speed of fashion. Today’s Manicure Monday Artist, Dawn Danielle, comes equipped with extensive New York Fashion Week (NYFW) experience and a career in nails spanning over a decade. She now brings her perfectionist attention to detail, sharpened under the tutelage of Lisa Logan, back to Chicago for the benefit of her fashion forward clientele at home. I stopped by Digits by Dawn to discuss fashion week survival and the Chicago nail art scene.

Is the behind-the-scenes chaos of fashion week as crazy as we imagine?

It’s crazier! What I found to be interesting is the amount of adrenaline I had pumping through my body. I am seriously high when working fashion week. It takes a minute for me to come down because it is such a mad frenzy. 150 people in one room; makeup artists, press, designers, models and I’m in between everyone getting hair spray in my face, getting stepped on, I may have cuticle sticks in my hair – it’s a crazy rush. There’s no time to even think.

How do you keep your calm when perfection is demanded?

If you know anything about Lisa Logan you know she’s at the top of her game. When working with her I know I have to be the best at what I’m doing. Nothing can get in the way. Depending on the size of your team, some people may be able to coast with minimal talent. But you know after that experience what you’re really made of and how far your talent can truly go. You’re not just working at the speed of light, but it has to be done neatly and professionally. The press is taking close photos of the models’ hands. Even if my hands are shaking I’m going to make sure my model’s nails are on point.

What’s the craziest experience you’ve had working NYFW?

I remember a show that was off-site (not in Lincoln Center). We ran out of tips because there were so many girls and I just remember it being really hectic, me on the floor, sweating profusely. What was so brilliant about the design was that we were putting Minx on top of a color, on top of tips. When we ran out of tips we just polished the girls and put minx on top of their natural nails. As they’re ready to walk the runway, tips began popping off! We were on the floor looking for nail tips at show time.

That turned out to be a great experience and, in the end, a great show. You have no choice but to be humbled by experiences like that. I met a lot of wonderful models, many of them are really sweet, and some of them are working their first show.

Daniella Kallmeyer
Nails created by Lisa Logan’s team for the Daniella Kallmeyer NYFW show

What did you learn working with celebrity manicurist Lisa Logan?

That was the highlight of it all – being able to work with Lisa, see her in action, and see her shine working in her element. I’m used to her behind the scenes but to see her being the same humble person in the limelight, giving interviews, and giving advice, teaching us how to work faster, it was an amazing opportunity. We also had a great team of artists.

How do you see the nail art scene in Chicago?

I’m from Chicago and we are just more conservative here. I think the nail art scene, though, is growing. I have a client that works in a law office and she can’t do much with her nails during the week, but when she goes on vacation we get as crazy as possible with her nail designs. Many of the looks that were considered ‘urban’ in the 90s are now considered chic since they’re featured in fashion magazines.

Anything you wish your clients would experiment with more?

The almond shape nail. Most have been doing a ‘squoval’ design for years. But unless you’re going to keep you nails super short, I’d like to see the feminine almond shaped nail return to the scene. The square design was created for acrylics, but most people are going natural now with their nails. Additionally, I want girls to move away from the local discount nail salon flower and leaf designs and step their game up.

What’s the future of nail art as you see it?

We’re going to see is more enhancements, more decals, more free hand nail art, stones, even earrings in nails! Many things that may not seem practical are great for rocking maybe one night. I see designs getting wilder. Glitter isn’t going anywhere. I thought the glitter phase was over – nope. The overall consensus is ‘More glitter please!’

What can a first time client expect from Digits by Dawn?

I focus on customer service and high quality products. I specialize in one-on-one service. There will be no one sharing your time when you’re here. This is a place to relax and reload.

 Dawn describes her salon as private and exclusive, only taking clients by appointment.

Book an appointment with Dawn Danielle via StyleSeat or reach her by phone at 347-855-778.

Featured Image: Boston.com

Article Images: Dawn by Danielle Facebook Page