See Orly’s Skater-Inspired Collection of Nail Polishes

Six shades as audacious as those original Lords of Dogtown


The L.A.-based nail polish company Orly has written an epic love letter to its hometown with a “Made in L.A.” campaign. For its latest collection, the company looks to the summer of ’76, when drought-emptied swimming pools became petri dishes for a new adrenaline-fueled pastime: skateboarding. Six neon shades with names like “Push the Limit” and “On the Edge” pay homage to those Z-Boy pioneers.

Skateboarding and fresh manicures may seem incongruous, but Orly’s senior vice president of marketing, Carina Breda, explains the connection. “We start with the current color trend, then look for that perfect L.A. story that fits the essence of the collection and weave them together. The nail trend right now is bright, bold, and daring shades that capture the electricity of summer. We thought of skateboarding—the risk-taking and fearlessness involved.”

The campaign will roll out a new collection each season for the next two to three years. It began in the spring with buttercream and key lime polishes inspired by the Eagle Rock bakery Auntie Em’s Kitchen. This fall it honors L.A.’s legendary music scene.

Orly is proud of its local roots. For the past 40 years all of its varnishes have been conceived and manufactured here. “L.A. is the hottest city on earth right now,” says Breda. “So many brands want to own a piece of it. But for us it’s more than a marketing campaign. L.A. is in our DNA.”