Written By:

Renowned for putting the power back into the hands of independent creators, APOC Store, is back doing what it does best – but this time with a new initiative: APOC Nails. Its very first beauty project, the London-based conceptual marketplace’s product line will now include the nail art and nail jewellery of eight exceptional artists. Those involved have created a completely unique and exclusive offering for the launch, utilising innovative self-taught methods – such as upcycling found materials or reinterpreting the classic French manicure – blended with techniques from traditional training to challenge conventional notions of beauty and identity. Inspired by “the potent creativity found on social media” APOC store has set out to bring these unique and expressive pieces from “the digital realm into the tangible world”.

What should you splash out on? Raw Nails’ man-repellant and grotesque, prosthetic-like claws aren’t for the faint of heart, but if you feel like wearing lifelike teeth on your fingers, look no further. Or for the Y2K-ified girlies, Olivia Tonin’s Hot Nails, which repurpose pieces of old flip phones, earphones and clear-plastic beads should tickle your fancy. What are your digits? Ravers unite: Sammy Does and Texto Dallas delve into the hyper-pop, cyberpunk aesthetics of an imagined future, making the kind of nail extensions that would secure your entry to Berghain. Viviane Lee Hsu’s Cyshimi is also on the roster, bringing a good dose of kawaii goth to the release. And for intricate chromes and Day-Glo iridescents that surf and swell as if they’re made from the liquid elixir of another planet entirely, Lucie Doux’s Doux Nails will take you on an intergalactic journey.

Not one for nails? Dinara Garaeva and Räthel & Wolf are jewellers, and have created luxe adornments that frame, cover, or adorn the base of the nail in lieu of the glue required for extensions. Garaeva’s nail jewellery is avant-garde and sculptural, like metallic seaweed that ripples with the waves, while Räthel & Wolf take a more minimal approach, casting silver into chic fingernail rings. APOC Store has it all.

All the weird and wonderful APOC Nails goodness is available to shop online from today. Click here to discover more.


What do you love about nail art?

Does: “I do it because I’m obsessed with 3D design and video games. It’s like the twin goddesses of love, two halves of the same whole. I can’t go without either of them. I’ve always been obsessed with character design and game cards so naturally I bring that into my nail prosthetics. My work is a translation of my everyday sci-fi fantasy world into the material plane. Kind of how a dystopian monster from an RPG game like Shin Megami Tensei V would go rogue and step foot into the real world. That’s the effect I want to achieve and I’m just getting started. Bring in the drama!”

If you had access to every material and tool – even made up fantasy ones – what would you like to experiment with?

Does: “Oh that’s easy. I would want to be a metal bender, like from Avatar: The Last Airbender. The tools of my trade would be my mind and I would need to find a piece of meteorite as material. In this universe the metals in certain meteorites have a unique property making them easier to manipulate and bend. It can have both liquid and solid forms, opening up a whole new range of design possibilities. I would probably try to make something overly complex resembling mechanical serpentine dragons. I would call it the Cyber Dragon Nova, the first dragon cyborg of its kind.”


What do you love about nail art?

Tonin: “I love the historical narrative of contemporary nail art and the role nail art has played in popular culture, the inherent juxtaposition and contradictions, ability to re-appropriate symbols, the blurred lines between real and fake, high and low art, and the transformative power of a fresh manicure. I do it because it’s solitary, meditative, ritualistic, and allows me to continue exploring  relevant themes while keeping my hands busy… and out of trouble.”

If you had access to every material and tool – even made up fantasy ones – what would you like to experiment with?

Tonin: “Something that excites me the most about the art is the limitations of the art form; I become overwhelmed in the face of unlimited options. I would love to have access to the knowledge and materials it would take to create LED nails of some kind. I made a set called Electric French (actually battery powered) but they had too many wires. I would like to make Electric French 2.0 (LED, or some other technology I’ve yet to learn about.)”


What do you love about nail art?

Lee Hsu: “When I think about nails, it can easily be connected to an idea of a subversive beauty, but more than that it’s connected with body and performance. Nails expose how our body can expand, having them is like having a superbody, it’s a strong symbol of power. That’s why I name them as performative sculptures, sculptures that are part of an alive and expressive body and so, the nails perform with it. I mould the acrylic endlessly to create a sculpture, and it moulds me back, it hits and rebounds, making you change your life in regards to things and people around you.

“They also represent a clash of norms, while questioning a hegemonic beauty standard and instigating everyone around them. A lot of my work seeks to reveal that, historically, nails are a strong symbol of resistance, empowerment and identity. They defy normative concepts of beauty and ways of life, generating a strong sense of community and collectivity. Having them is also a way of celebrating plurality and diversity of bodies, where oftentimes it’s imagined one possible way of living, when there are actually infinite others. Creating a relation of an empowerment of the self, of one’s identity and individuality, it’s really expressive by itself.

“I started doing nails because I’ve always had a strong relationship with vanity, experimental beauty and clothing since I was a teenager. Since that time, I started to grow my natural nails really really long. I found it incredible how our body could grow something naturally so fantastic, and mainly, how I felt more powerful and unique with them.”

If you had access to every material and tool – even made up fantasy ones – what would you like to experiment with? Why? What would you name the new set?

Lee Hsu: “I would love it if all my nails could be made from Graphene [a material that is extracted from graphite and is made up of pure carbon], the most resistant material to exist – more resistant than diamond. It’s synthetically made by humans and it arranges atoms of carbon in a way that makes it super resistant, while still being super light. You can put an elephant on top of a pen on top of a graphene sheet and it wouldn’t damage it. So imagine having unbreakable nails that could last forever, it would be amazing.”


What do you love about nail art?

Raw: “I love that I’m able to create real art that will live with people and go through different moments with them. What I create actually becomes a part of my clients and that blows my mind. I’m delighted with the fact my works evoke emotions of different levels from admiration to disgust and it‘s pretty funny to listen to my clients stories about the reaction of people on what I’ve done. I do nails because it’s interesting to me to try new forms and materials in my works. I show others what is beautiful in my mind and I find those who have the same vision of it. And as a result, my clients and I break the rather narrow boundaries of beauty.”

If you had access to every material and tool – even made up fantasy ones – what would you like to experiment with?

Raw: “I don’t think there are any materials I wish I could work with. Because I already work with dust, bones, dried insects, snake’s skin, flowers, etc. I definitely use usual materials like different gels and polishes and I experiment with them too, but if I want to use something for my designs I just do it. Some elements I work with I buy in different shops or purchase online, others I find in my parent’s country house or forests. As for the latest purchases I made? They were dried butterflies. A couple of years ago, I had already worked with them but I guess I miss them.”


What do you love about nail jewellery?

Räthel & Wolf: “Jewellery is a fantastic tool to communicate. Our pieces empower you to express who you are, especially our nail rings which give you the confidence to do so. Adorning your nails or taking care of them is considered something feminine in mainstream Western culture but with our jewellery we have always enjoyed breaking gender norms and we love that anyone, no matter what gender or style, enjoys wearing them.

“We shape the material directly around the body finding intimate gaps to fit the jewellery, our nail rings sit directly in that sensitive part under your nail. We love when our pieces merge with the body and become part of the wearer’s persona, adding to their self expression. Our favourite moment is when a customer forms such a bond with the jewellery they wear that they even miss the pieces when they take them off.”

If you had access to every material and tool – even made up fantasy ones – what would you like to experiment with?

Räthel & Wolf: “We are very into the new possibilities tech can offer and watch its development with excitement. Unfortunately most wearables on the market have not nailed (pun intended) a certain level of sexiness to lose that tech-bro vibe. We have always dreamt of making beautiful jewellery with a function included, which extend or enhance our human performance, like including hearing aids into our ear cuffs or adding a chip into our nail rings for your house keys, payments or phone function. We would love to collaborate on a collection like that with a tech company and would probably call it Cyber Chrome.”


What do you love about nail art?

Garaeva: “I love nail jewellery because it allows me to express my creativity and create designs that enhance and elevate a person’s unique style. I love the ability to bring out someone’s individuality and create a captivating, unique aesthetic through these wearable art.”

If you had access to every material and tool – even made up fantasy ones – what would you like to experiment with?

Garaeva: “I would be particularly interested in exploring materials that could change shape and colour based on mood. Imagine nails that could dynamically shift their form and hue, reflecting the emotions and moods of the person wearing them. It would add a whole new dimension of personal expression and allow individuals to visually communicate their feelings through their nail jewellery. As for the name of the new set, I would call it Serene, because the word embodies a sense of inner peace and harmony.”


What do you love about nail art?

Dallas: “Nail art allows you to build a whole universe using such a small medium and to show rigour, skills and devotion in a humble way. It connects us, nail artists to artists, and we can empowering self-confidence with our small treasures. I became obsessed with nails because a vision I had, and Covid turned that obsession into a purpose.”

If you had access to every material and tool – even made up fantasy ones – what would you like to experiment with?

Dallas: “I’d love to reproduce micro-worlds on the nails using living organisms that would grow and create a shape by eating the dead skin or the oil or your tips. After month the nails would be so long, would glow in the dark and lure your crush into your claws to continue this weird circle of life


What do you love about nail art?

Doux: “I have a deep fondness for nail art as it allows me to express my individuality and personal style. Each design I create tells a unique story about who I am and what I love. The endless possibilities within nail art fascinate me, the fact that I never reproduce the same design adds to its infinite charm. Moreover, I find engaging in nail art to be quite therapeutic. Painting nails meticulously becomes a form of meditation for me, instilling a sense of centeredness.”

If you had access to every material and tool – even made up fantasy ones – what would you like to experiment with?

Doux: “I would explore the use of real metal and glass in my nail art creations. These materials, renowned for their elegance and sophistication, have long held a special fascination for me. Metal offers unparalleled strength and shine, while glass brings a unique transparency and brightness. Incorporating them into nail art would open up new creative horizons, allowing me to explore textures, reflections, and unprecedented visual effects. By experimenting with these more noble materials, I could add an extra dimension to my designs. I would name the new set Elemental Gleam.”