Manicurist Honey on the photo shoot that changed her career.

Photograph by Mario Sorrenti for Vogue Italia, June 2015, manicure by Honey

I’ve always been passionate about doing nails.

I started my career 30 years ago by working in salons, doing house calls, and creating custom nail art for clients. Back then, beauty schools didn’t teach manicuring, and YouTube didn’t exist, so I taught myself everything I know.

In 2003, I was working at Go Girl, a [now closed] salon in Manhattan’s Alphabet City, when I was booked on my first-ever photo shoot: the DSquared2 Fall/Winter 2003 campaign starring Naomi Campbell and photographed by Steven Klein.

Photograph by Mariano Vivanco for Muse, March 2013, manicure by Honey

At the time, I didn’t know it was for DSquared2, and hadn’t heard of Steven, but I said yes —I figured it would be just like a house call.

When I got to set, I was asked to give Naomi nail art and a nude manicure, and Steven was very pleased with it. I didn’t have much else to do after that, so I spent the rest of the day observing how the hairstylist, makeup artist, and stylist collaborated with him.

Photograph by Mario Sorrenti for W, September 2015, manicure by Honey

Photograph by Steven Klein for DSquared2 Fall/Winter 2003 campaign, manicure by Honey

It was such a great exposure to the fashion and beauty world, and I learned so much by just being there.

Steven has since booked me on many of his shoots, and every job we do together is electrifying. He has an incredible eye, and inspires my creativity.

I’m so grateful to have the opportunity to work with him.

— as told to The Thick

Did you see? Photographer Steven Klein’s out of this world vision on display in a 2001 Vogue Italia editorial, Alicia Torello takes The Thick Questionnaire.



Photograph by Steven Klein for V, September 2015, manicure by Honey