Deborah Lippmann Sings the Blues (Reds, Greens, and Glitters) for Her 15th Anniversary
“Me and my brother Mark Lippmann when we were kids. So lucky to call him my brother and co-founder of the Deborah Lippmann brand.”
It’s hard to imagine that Deborah Lippmann’s dazzling career as one of fashion’s top manicurists actually started as a day job to support what was supposed to be her true calling as a jazz singer. Even her future husband, Jude Severin, a former manager at Birdland, a landmark jazz club in New York City, did not realize Lippmann could belt a tune until their second date, when she took him to a Knicks game…and then opened it by singing the National Anthem.
“Me and my husband Jude, who has somehow become the boss of me…and is also my business partner and co-founder of the brand.”
“Taking a mani break on set with Steven Meisel.”
“I was the world’s worst waitress, so I figured if I went to cosmetology school, I could sit down all day and hold hands with people, then stand up and sing in clubs at night,” she reminisced during an appearance at Colette in Paris, before accepting an impromptu request to sing a few bars of her recent composition, “Until Your Dreams Come True,” for a small gathering of editors. (More on that song in a moment.) Fast-forward fifteen years: Lippmann counts Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o among her clients, and she’s tagged along on the Lady Gaga “rocketship” more times than she can remember. “She pushed me beyond what I ever thought I would do with a nail,” Lippmann laughed of the over-the-top pop star. When polish pro launched her eponymous nail color line, in 1999, she named her twenty-seven debut colors after favorite songs. Treatment products soon followed. (The Cure cuticle cream and Rich Girl hand cream are consistent top sellers.)
“I’ve met so many great friends through the years, including the lovely Karlie Kloss, who has a total entrepreneurial spirit”
“Behind the scenes look of when we were creating new brand packaging.”
But back to that song: To celebrate her brand’s 15th anniversary, the manicurist put fifteen of her favorite shades into a black lacquered music box ($250, fifty available at Barneys in September), with the pro herself providing the vocals for the limited-edition coffer (when you open the lid, that same tune Lippmann sang on the beauty floor at Colette, “Until Your Dreams Come True,” starts playing). The lineup includes a smattering of glitters for which Lippmann became famous (“almost accidentally,” she notes), house classics, new colors, and her latest “matteen” Chrome finish. “My true calling is to help smart women be as smart and demanding about their nails as they are about their hair and face,” she said. Mission accomplished.