If opposites attract, then Smith & Cult, the newest nail product line created by the dynamic duo, Dineh Mohajer (the imaginative mind of the brand) and Jeanne Chavez (the calm, organized heartbeat of the business) is sure to be on everybody’s fingertips. The creators behind Hard Candy and Goldie Cosmetics – both of which were developed into a full range of products – take a third stab at blending beauty with an edge. This October they release 30 new, long wear, high-shine/high-pigment shades of exquisitely created nail polish. Formulas are 5-Free–made without dibutyl phthalate, toluene, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin and camphor.
Smith & Cult’s concept and color scheme is based on The Diary of a Beauty Junkie, also developed by Dineh and Jeanne. “We started with six chapters and each one pertains to a different nail shade,” said Dineh. “They are a manifestation of where the main character is and what she’s feeling in her life. Each nail polish name has its own story, each color reflects a mood or personality.” Bridge &Tunnel, Gay Ponies Dancing in the Snow, City of Consumption, Pillow Pie and Feed the Rich, to name just a few…
The other apparently contrasting factor with the product is its construction. “There’s a polarity in our creation,” Dineh added. “The polishes are about two different reactions coming together to form a harmonious entity. It’s the elegant and the damaged. Destruction and beauty.”
The concept started back in 1995 when Dineh, who was a pre-med student at college, wanted a pastel blue nail color for an outfit and couldn’t find what she was looking for. What she did find was a passion for mixology rather than medicine.
In 1999 Hard Candy was sold to Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy, and several years later, Goldie, a cosmetics line with a fairy theme, was bought by Bath & Body Works. Luxury Brand Partners, a company that owns and operates a portfolio of luxury and salon brands, including Oribe Hair Care and R&Co., owns Smith & Cult, too.
“We build our clients through networking,” said Deva Finger, who is both an owner of Luxury Brands and general manager for Smith & Cult. “We find brands through relationships, from being in the industry and through our existing clients. We look for opportunities to diversify ourselves in interesting ways, and to take us beyond our core competencies. Smith & Cult takes us in a new direction within our own company and within the nail segment, as well.”
Interestingly, all three agreed the brand would be geared towards salons and spas and not the mass market. “The brand is not meant to blow up overnight,” Deva added. “We’re not owned by a private equity company. Our goal is to keep it home grown and smaller while still being accessible to people. This was something we leapt into because the girls are so creative. Who knows what’s going to happen. And that’s how we build brands.”