Image courtesy Kim d'Amato
Interview

Kim d’Amato

03.05.15

Supporting organic farmers and decreasing the amount of chemicals poisoning the earth are the founding principles of PRITINYC. What started has a solution to Founder Kim d’Amato’s goal to live organically while pregnant has grown into an international business. Today, her nine year old daughter Sienna helps name the polish and is the inspiration behind PRITI Princess, the first line of non toxic polishes for children. Stella McCartney, Donna Karan, and Proenza Schouler are just a few of the designers who feature PRITI polish on their runways. Its Soy Nail Polish – 110% biodegradable, non-toxic and non-carcinogenic – has such cult following that Kim brings special orders to Karlie Kloss when she sees her backstage. One manicure at a time, Kim has expanded the line from three bottles of polish to over 100 colors, a private label polish created exclusively for the organic emporium Whole Foods, while maintaining the brand integrity and giving back to the planet.

Interview

The idea to develop an organic nail polish came to you while you were pregnant. Once you had the concept, how long did it take to actually develop the polish formula?

I launched Priti Organic spa in 2004 and over the years I could not find a good product that was clean enough so we launched with three colors I remember a pink, a white and a red. I worked with the formulators and it went rather quickly. The brand has grown a long way from then. We only used them in the spa at first but the demand grew because of the reputation of the spa and now we are in many countries: Spain, France, UK, Norway, Sweden, Iceland, Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, Japan. This list keep growing…

What does it mean that a nail polish is vegan?

It means there is not animal by products in the Nail polish. And it means PRITINYC is not or never has been tested on animals.

Your brand was ahead of its time. How have the attitudes to organic beauty product changed since you launched?

Education has been the main difference in attitude. We now know what toxic products are used and know what they are doing to your body, our skin and the earth. So we can make choices and there are now many, many and has become more of the norm. Why poison yourself if you don’t have to? Your skin is your biggest organ so naturally what you put on it effect s you.

How do you come up with new colors every season?

I work with many young designers during Fashion Week to create some custom colors. A lot of people ask me why I work with so many young designers, and the reason is that they are very creative and have always a new idea for new color schemes. It is always a pleasure to work with such creative young people and watch them make their dreams and visions come true. They are inspiring.

Also in case you have not noticed through my collections. I am in love with vintage travel posters and postcards…so sometimes I create the color scheme around them. And then visit each country. All PRITINYC polishes are named after flowers so I have encyclopedias of flowers and try to match the colors to the flowers.

What did you do before becoming a nail polish maven?

l grew up in Australia … In 2008 after being discovered by a model agency I was given a ticket to Paris where I lived for many years .. I also had my moment as a terrible TV actress and then became a photographer’s agent working with small agencies in NYC and Paris.

We know you PRITINYC will have a major presence during New York Fashion Week. Are you backstage at the shows in Europe as well?

In Paris, I work with Zadig and Voltaire and Acne studios, both young creative brands…we also have worked for Esteban Cortazar, Vionnet, and Stella McCartney for many years amongst others.

Typically, how many shows do you do during NYFW?

I usually do anywhere from 18-24 show with both very well known designers and emerging talent.

What’s a typical day like for you during NYFW?

Many of my shows are the first so I am up at 4 am to get ready to go to the tents or locations. My team and myself arrive and being cleaning and painting nails. In between each show I am back home if possible as I still have an international business to run and emails to answer, and contracts to sign. Plus, prepping nails for the next shows.

What are some of the most unique or unusual nail designs you have created for the runway?

In Paris, I work with haute couture designer, Oscar Carvallo. His work is amazing. We created manicures to resemble the artwork of Cruz Diez one year and we made nails that all had little gold bullets on them for another show. We, of course, work off false nails we apply just before show. It’s always exciting to work along side such a creative artist.

Your soy nail polish remover has a cult following. What’s the secret?

The remover is made from soy only and it is 100 percent bio-degradable, non toxic and non flammable so it can ship everywhere. I use essential oils inside them for their natural healing qualities. So it moisturizers and does not dry out your nails. I made them into wipes to have the models use backstage. They smell like lemongrass so it’s aromatherapeutic, too. Each time I work with Karlie Kloss at a fashion show I bring her a bag.

Who are your go-to manicurists?

In Paris, Nadine from the nail club in the 11th in Paris. She has all types of brands you can try out, including PRITINYC. She is a young entrepreneur from the UK that is trying her hand at bringing business such as hers to Paris.

In the UK, I have Lucy from Milk Beauty. She has her own mobile spa so can come to my hotel, or where ever I am…and stocks PRITINYC too, of course.

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