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Brief Published: 18 May 2021

Lil Yachty Champions Male Manicures with New Polish Line


As we highlight in The Brief, the male manicure is a growing grooming trend being driven by influential celebrities including Harry Styles, A$AP Rocky and Lil Nas X, helping to break stigmas around men expressing themselves. Following suit, US rapper Lil Yachty is launching Crete – a unisex line of nail polishes.  

Crete is designed to make nail painting accessible for everyone and challenges outdated gender norms. It represents a new age of masculinity, encouraging open self-expression and creativity. Available from May 21, its first collection, Negatives 001, features three neutral monochromatic matte shades – black, white and grey – packaged in sleek, clicker-pen-style black tubes. The easy-to-use design caters to those who struggle to apply DIY manicures, with a button at the top that deploys the nail brush.

“If you find painting your nails is a way to show your creative side, or it’s an aesthetic that fits you, you shouldn’t be judged for it,” said Lil Yachty. “Outside opinion shouldn’t have an effect on your aesthetic and whatever you decide to do, and this line is a reflection of that.”

The launch further enriches the growth in marketing campaigns exploring modern masculinity. Sixty-nine per cent of men don’t feel represented by brands, yet 80% agree that adverts influence gender stereotypes (New Macho, 2020). Like Crete, shrewd brands dissolving gender barriers and pushing unisex nail art into the mainstream are gaining attention, as more and more men and non-binary people reject gender constructs when it comes to beauty.

For more unisex nail art aesthetics, see Indie Graphics in Nail Design Trends to Watch 2021, and for further male-focused beauty campaigns, see The Skintellectual Man.