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Source: Auda B NYFW / Auda B

There are many elements that go into crafting the fashion show. The clothes may be the star, but hair, makeup, and nails play a pivotal role in the cohesiveness of the look.

For Samara Walker, founder of vegan lacquer brand Àuda.B  that meant bringing her artistry to the runway through vibrant nail designs that stood out with every strut. Àuda.B  was the official nail sponsor for Sergio Hudson, AnOnlyChild, Aliette, and Bibhu this NYFW season — applying her luxury gel polish to press-on nails to give each model a salon fresh manicure during the fast-paced backstage setting.

We spoke to Samara about the inspiration to start the Àuda.B  brand, becoming the official nail sponsor of NYFW and fall nail trends.

HB: What inspired you to start Àuda.B ?

Samara Walker: Growing up in a single-parent household with low income, luxury items were basically nonexistent. For my mother, luxury nail lacquer was a MUST. My mother created her own “moment of peace,” which we call “health and wellness” today. I really enjoyed watching her be selective with her color options as she always color-coordinate with her outfits. My mother took her time painting her nails. As a young child, I never understood the obsession until I had the ability to purchase and experience beauty products on my own. I grew to love luxury products across the board, but as I found myself frequently visiting my local luxury retail stores and boutiques while they carried the products I wanted to purchase, I started to feel disconnected from the brands. I realized none of the branding, product selections or editorial marketing highlighted or reflected women of color like myself.


Source: Auda B NYFW / Auda B

HB: How hard was it for you as a Black woman to find success in the nail lacquer business?

Samara Walker: Extremely difficult, the nail category is a niche space in beauty. A lot of major players such as  OPI, Essie and Zoya really have the industry in a choke whole, which aren’t Black-owned, even though black women 9x over index more than non-black shoppers in the beauty space. Coming from a background in Corporate finance I didn’t have any connections in Beauty or Retail which complicated the process of building Auda.B. However, I started to navigate building Àuda.B  with one brick at a time by networking and stepping outside my comfort zone to challenge the status quo and educate consumers on Àuda.B .

I always questioned why women of color are left out of the luxury beauty space especially when it comes to luxury and clean beauty. I am passionate about changing the perception of luxury clean beauty by bridging the gap between beauty and fashion while showing women of color from an editorial focal point. Often times beauty brands are created without women of color in mind, and with Àuda.B  women of color are at the forefront of creation from product development, marketing, and branding.

HB: What makes the Auda.B brand unique?

Samara Walker: We pride ourselves on going “beyond the bottle.” Not only are our products nontoxic and vegan friendly but we continue to eliminate stereotypes and educate beauty enthusiasts! Too often women risk their health for beauty. At Àuda.B, we believe in strengthening our communities by having the audacity and confidence to reach their fullest potential. Through our partnerships, we empower our consumers to push the needle forward within exclusive spaces to make dynamic changes. Creating editorial experiences, such as NYFW,  that allow our consumers to envision themselves in underrepresented spaces is the monumental driver in bridging the gap between clean beauty and fashion. All while focusing on over-delivering in quality,  inclusive branding, and providing shades that reflect and champion diversity.


Source: Auda B NYFW / Auda B

HB: How did Àuda.B  become the official nail sponsor of Sergio Hudson at NYFW? What was it like working with Hudson?

Samara Walker: We had our first opportunity to work with Sergio Hudson in September 2021. This past NYFW showcase is our 3rd season with Hudson. Special thank you to The Hinton Group, the team is absolutely phenomenal and solidified the partnership for Auda.B. Hudson is a true creative and visionary who is very hands-on throughout the entire process. Sergio Hudson is a true gem to work with!

HB: How challenging was it to execute the designs of you and your lead nail artist?

Samara Walker: Myself, Founder, and Shani Evans, Lead Nail Artist work together to create nail designs that align with Sergio Hudson’s vision/ inspiration for the collection. Nails are a statement piece but it’s important to ensure they don’t overshadow the collection all while complementing the designs. Depending on the number of models intricate nail designs can be complex on natural nails so having a strong nail team is essential to execute designs precise and clean.

HB: What are 3 tips for having flawless nails in the fall?

Samara Walker: Almond cuticle oil. Avoid harsh chemicals like Gels and Powder Dips. And join @Audabbeauty Live on Thursday @5pm EST / @2pm PST for “How To Videos” on top nail trends


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