I am ashamed to say that this interview is several years old…and it is from a year when nail polishes were the thing in beauty. And for that occasion, there is only one person I’ve wanted to interview, and it was Adina. She has an impeccable taste in pretty much everything, but I personally really appreciate her shoes (doc Martens especially), her incredible silver rings, gorgeous kitten Tristam, and, of course, the nail shades she comes up with. They are absolutely magical: the shades are unique and the stories behind them are fascinating.
Enjoy the interview!
1. Can you please tell us something about yourself?
I was born and raised in Milan Italy, with an inclination for creativity and everything beautiful. A career in fashion with a few experiences in costumes design for opera and ballet was the perfect way to fulfil my aspirations and potentials.
My starting and long time experience was as assistant for Gianni Versace for whom I designed almost everything, followed by a few years as a freelance.
The step that very early determined my fundamental next stage in life happened at 16 when I visited London for the first time during a study/holiday. A deep yearning for England and sense of belonging seemed suddenly revealed and became stronger in the following years.
In my 30s after years of conflict I finally decided to follow my heart and left my glamorous, though demanding career, my fine setting behind to come to London to the unknown. Why? There might be only an esoteric explanation as I can’t find a rational one but that was my personal Epiphany, to feel complete at last despite difficult and uneasy moments I had to overcome.
I kept working in fashion designing accessories and eventually for a haute couture house based in Dubai until I realised I had completed a perfect cycle of experiences and didn’t feel any more the drive to continue. I formed a painting and decorating company that gave me a break on the creative side, until the urge to do something all mine raised again. And this is the start of the present chapter…
2. How did you realize that you want to create nail polishes? Was it hard to start your own brand?
“A young girl painting her nails with watercolours” that’s the beginning… During all stages and changes in life painting my nails has been a constant way to express myself and even to connect with people. I believe the intention to start my own line had been growing for long time until I was ready to start and from that moment all came very naturally.
I spent almost one year in preparation building the concept and the colours. It was very intense and exciting. I had to find the best manufacturer in UK, create the look of my website, thinking how to tell the world that I was there.
One by one all the right elements showed up to combine the perfect jigsaw. I found the ideal and best manufacturer, a web designer genius (long time friend) who followed all my requests and helped to improve my ideas making the website of my dreams. As for the launch I just emailed a press release to some bloggers I’d been following and they …. loved it. I will be forever grateful to them. Bloggers brought to life my brand with their support, interest and love. Fans, customers followed and a exchange of good vibes between them and me. I strongly believe in the power of loving communication and human connections.
3. How did you come up with ‘A England’ name? Why have you decided to take Arthurian Legends as an inspiration? Do you plan to create collections inspired by other topics?
England is a very unique element and very important one in my life; it represents the source of my inspiration for its lights, its history and culture. A it is my initial entwined with England: my long life passion.
My aim is to express and share this interest through colours and stories. There will be always a British theme in all my collections.Nail polish is my media. The Myth of King Arthur is the first story I met in my childhood connected to England.
4. How does the process of creating a new shade looks like? How long does it take? Where do you get inspiration from?
I start always from books of my favourite British writers and visual images of my beloved British art movement: the pre-raphaelites. And walking around Chelsea, London looking at splendid late Victorian architecture of houses.
I collect colour swatches from Pantone and various sources (paper, old nail polishes I mix together etc.) and think about the finish working closely to the manufacturer lab. As I work independently I don’t have to comply to any deadline. I launch a collection when I’m satisfied by the samples I receive back from the laboratory and feel ready to go.
5.What is your personal favourite colour/shade of nail polish?
What I’m wearing now! Camelot The most perfect black I could have wished for. I will always do variations of black and grey (Camelot, King Arthur and Bridal Veil and Ascalon in The Legend). They’re very elegant and classic. I dress as in uniform. My wardrobe is all grey and black and my adored kitty Tristam is all black and grey too.
Editor’s note: I am sure Adina now has a lot of other favourites, too.
6. What shades do you think every girl should have? What is the best colour to start with?
Nail polish is creativity, play, fun. Any colour is fine. My very first real nail polish was an apple green jelly I proudly bought from Mary Quant when first in London at 16 in the 70s.
7. Which nail polishes from A England are your favourite? And which are best selling? Can you tell which colour will be popular?
Holos are very much coveted. I listen to the requests of bloggers, customers, friends. There will be more holos next!
Adina on her inspiration.
Last books read about one of my favourite subjects:
- 1. Biography of Burne-Jones
- 2. Modern version of the classic Morte D’Artur
- 3. Last Sleep Of Arthur in Avalon by Edward Burne-Jones (I spent wonderful moments in admiration when it was on lease at the Tate Gallery Britain)
- 4. The Beguiling Of Merlin by Burne-Jones (beautiful colours)
- 5. Saint George, Dragon and Princess sabra by Burne-Jones
All these refer to A England’s second collection.
Photos used were sent to me by Adina herself, or from the brand’s Instagram.