With shade names like “souq up the sun” and “worth the tassel,” the Moroccan inspiration behind the nail polish collection is hard to miss.
Rabat – American nail care brand ‘essie’ has released its summer 2020 collection, and the vibrant colors of Moroccan souqs are the inspiration behind the shades.
The limited-edition collection features “six bright nail polish shades inspired by wandering through the bustling bazaars of Morocco,” the brand says in its ad campaign. Each polish retails for $9, and the collection will be available throughout summer 2020.
“Souq up the sun,” a radiant coral shade, represents the Moroccan desert heat, while “mosaic on down,” an enchanting gold, summons visions of wandering through a maze-like market studded with glimmering treasures.
Shop till you drop in the shade “bustling bazaar,” a dramatic cyan that mirrors the vibrant blues found in Morocco’s artisanal delights, or the bold red “spice it up” shade that evokes adventuring through ancient medinas.
The warm and earthy nude hue of “kaf-tan” is reminiscent of Saharan sand dunes, while “worth the tassel” is a playful purple fit for treasure hunting in winding alleyways.
Essie is not the first beauty brand to draw inspiration from Morocco.
American pop superstar Rihanna dropped the “Moroccan Spice” eyeshadow palette in the summer of 2018, the second eyeshadow palette for her brand “Fenty Beauty.”
The 16-pan palette features warm oranges, maroons, and golds inspired by Morocco’s spice markets while pops of pink and teal reflect the colorful craftsmanship found in Moroccan mosaics.
Rihanna, however, faced some backlash for portraying Morocco through an “orientalist lens.” With a desert-themed promotional video complete with a camel and Arab fusion music and eyeshadow shade names such as “Shisha Smoke” and “Desert Baked,” some beauty lovers did not appreciate the star’s projection of Moroccan culture.
While essie’s “souq up the sun” collection similarly plays on popular, tourist-oriented tropes of an exotic Morocco, the intoxicating energy and unparalleled vibrancy of traditional Moroccan markets is no exaggeration.