Considering creative output is right in his stage name, it’s no surprise that Tyler, The Creator has once again channeled his seemingly unlimited productivity into one of the year’s best beauty releases. It’s not enough for the artist to write his own music, design the album artwork and performance sets, develop an entire clothing line, and develop full cinematic universes for his songs — no, he has his hands in just about everything, and that becomes quite literal with the launch of Tyler, The Creator’s nail polish collection (just a few days behind his fragrance launch) as a part of his larger GOLF le FLEUR line.
Debuting with three dreamy shades to start — a gauzy baby blue, warm pastel peach, and a glittery gloss topper — the polishes are part of Tyler’s luxury clothing line, which is itself a relatively new concept, with the first solo collection released simultaneously alongside a signature fragrance, French Waltz, earlier in December. Tyler, who’s publicly flaunted more than a few excellent manicures, revealed to Essence that his expansion into beauty — like all his designs — was pure instinct over strategy. “I don’t even see this as me diving into the beauty space,” he told the outlet. “It’s just me saying ‘I want to make perfume,’ so I made it. I want to make nail polish,’ so I made it. I just made this, and this is what I’m on.”
The polishes were announced with minimal fanfare, arriving in the form of two minimalist Instagram photos and some direct-to-fan tweets. Along with a sheer glitter topcoat, Georgia Peach and Geneva Blue aren’t made “for the sold-out button,” Tyler explained on Twitter. “I tried to scale it in hopes everyone will be able to get their fragrance or polish.”
Everyone seems to be the operative word in this collection, too. It’s absolutely worth remarking on Tyler’s choice of hands in the polish announcement posts. Scroll through the carousels and you’ll see hands of all ages, races, and genders adorned in the polish, a highly intentional move. As the beauty industry slowly but surely makes strides towards inclusivity and representation, it can be argued that age is the final barrier left to break down. Seeing beauty product models with any real signs of aging, especially advanced aging, is rare — and that makes le FLEUR’s campaign choices especially welcome.
Of course, in true Tyler fashion, he eschewed a typical retail release for something much more brand-consistent and immersive. For the launch, Tyler dreamed up a gloriously cartoonish, sky-blue (or Geneva Blue, more aptly) pop-up shop perched atop a Malibu mountain — a sun-soaked, interactive space for fans to file through, get to know the garments, smell the fragrance, and score a manicure in the new le FLEUR nail polish shades.
The nail polish launch, notably, comes at an interesting time. In winter 2021 alone, it becomes the third high-profile nail polish launch from a male celebrity, joining Harry Styles’ Pleasing line and Machine Gun Kelly’s UN/DN LAQR. It’s not hard to see why nail polish is a go-to entry point for man-lead but ostensibly unisex beauty lines, either. Not only does nail polish appeal to and flatter all genders and skin tones, but it’s also one of the only ways cis men have traditionally felt comfortable expressing themselves beauty-wise in a society still very much dictating and perpetuating gender norms.
It’s also worth noting that Tyler’s launch comes from a Black man who’s been open about his own more fluid sexuality — and that he’s been experimenting with beauty virtually since his solo debut. “For the sun-seekers,” he said of the pop-up and its products in a new Instagram post. For everyone.
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