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In conversation with Daniel Smedeman

“I like flashy colours for sure. I love to create things which I don’t know how they’re going to end up. Anything 3D, cartoons-inspired, that looks underwater.”

Celebrating the diverse and multi-faceted pool of Amsterdam talent, Calvin Klein Jeans and Glamcult have come together to capture creative individuals in the new season’s workwear finest. We caught up with nail artist, Daniel to explore their beginnings, guilty pleasures and icks. Read the interview and make sure to come by DOLLEBEGIJNSTEEG 5 to experience the Calvin Klein exhibition and brand-new Glamcult Store from March 3rd to the 12th!

To begin with, tell us a bit about yourself and your craft!
My name is Daniel and I’m a nail artist. I’ve been doing nails for three and half years now, in the salon as well as a lot of fashion shoots and shows.

When was the first moment you knew you wanted to get into nail art?
I was working in PR before, and then the PR office I used to work for split up. I quit that area altogether and started thinking about what I wanted to achieve in life. I knew I wanted to do something more creative. I was thinking about becoming a hairdresser, a tattoo artist – all these things people would associate me with. One day, I was watching a show about a nail salon called Class. And I was like ‘hey, that’s a good idea!’. A friend of mine was a nail artist and I asked her if it was even worth going into, and she reassured me that it was! I took a course and immediately fell in love with it.

When was the first moment you realised you were good at it?
I knew immediately that it was this or nothing. So, even if I wasn’t good at it, I knew I had to make it work. I had to work really hard to be as good as I wanted to be. When I just started that course, I didn’t know anything. I didn’t even know what a gel polish was. I can draw well, so when I learnt how to combine it, I knew I was onto something. I still don’t think I’m that good. I’m always looking to grow.

Word on the street, you’re also opening a shop next door to us!
Yes, it’s insane! Right next door.

Tell us about how the idea of opening your own space come about and where do you hope it takes you?
Well, I needed a space to launder money, haha. Jokes aside, I really wanted to have my own space – a space where like-minded people would feel at ease. I’ve been working in salons where it hasn’t always been easy for more creative nail artists. So, I want to create a space where it’s very fluid and unrestricted. Also, to give a little bit back to the world. It’s going to be the first sustainable nail salon in the Netherlands. Everything is biodegradable, even the interior is made with recycled materials.

From incorporating KAWS elements to alien motifs and cartoon characters, you’ve done all sorts of crazy designs. What have some of your favs been?
I like flashy colours for sure. I love to create things which I don’t know how they will end up. Anything 3D, cartoon-inspired, that looks underwater. Right now, my favourite is the KAWS I think, it was really epic to create! I also did an editorial for a magazine recently, with a nail design that looked like water drops, but now this design is becoming too popular.

What is your guilty pleasure?
Food. A lot of food. Once I ordered takeaway while my boyfriend was in Portugal, and when he saw the bill, he thought I was on a date with someone, haha. Also, fashion. I’m a sucker for shopping online.

What is something that gives you the ick?
Rude people and close-mindedness. I think everything should be possible.

You’ve graced a lot of people’s nails with your art – from Snoh Aalegra to Rochelle to name a few. Who is your dream muse?
Actually, Savedaliza was one of them – and then I did the cover for Glamcult a couple of years ago! That was really a big moment for me. I’d also love to do Bjork and Erykah Badu. Frank Ocean would be iconic.

What is your favourite aspect of Amsterdam’s creative scene?
I love how everyone wants to create something new and is into self-expression.

If you could translate the energy of your outfit into a nail design, what would it be?
I love the fabrics and the textures – there is both shine and matte. There is a lot of movement and fluidity as well. I’d do something 3D, flowy and classy in black. I love wearing black, and this outfit really feels like me.

Calvin Klein Jeans will take over the Glamcult Store from March 3rd-12th!

Launching with a bang, come by the store and see the full exhibition of Amsterdam creatives alongside the Calvin Klein Jeans pre-spring ‘23 collection, New Utility.

(From March 18th onwards, we return to the Glamcult curation)


Art Direction by Glamcult
Photography by Piet Oosterbeek
Styling by Pykel van Latum & Rogier VlamingGlamcult
Makeup by June Peters
Modelled by Daniel Smedeman
Photography assistance by Andrea Amponsah
Styling assistance by Evita Shrestha
Shot at Studio Mucha