Jewnail, a range of women's nail care and cosmetic products from Jill&Lovers of Japan, may have an unfortunate name but it's really about fashion, not fascism.
When rising star nail artiste Mami Jingu founded the popular Harajuku Jill&Lovers nail salon in 2007, she needed a catchy English word that would sum up the essence of her jewelry-like, high-end nail care & cosmetic line.
"Hmm," Jingu may have wondered, "Jewelry, nails, jewel-like nails, JEWNAIL!!" Well, it could have been worse... Nailjew? Now that's not kosher.
Obviously Jingu didn't seek to offend by selecting a name that, while raising eyebrows and evoking uncomfortable snickers in the West, really has no negative connotation in Japan - the phonetic pronunciation would actually be something like "jyuu-NEH-ru".
Plus, she's not using a Gothic font or co-opting any sensitive symbols... I'm thinking of the swastika-emblazoned Hitler's Cross restaurant in Mumbai, India. Nope, Jewnail may sound awkward but these girls just wanna have fun - and wear jewel-like nails that cost plenty.
Posters and ads for Jill&Lovers' Jewnail line featuring hot models Yui Kanno and Tomoko Tamogami have been spotted in and around Tokyo's fashion (not fascism) mecca of Shibuya but reports state that the line, which hit store shelves in early 2008, is mainly sold out.
Jewnail products are still listed at online retailer Rakuten, however, for those who crave the Harajuku high style look for their nails... or who want to fascinate/irritate their trendy friends, mother-in-laws and rabbis each Saturday in synagogue. (via CNN-GO and Japan Probe, images by Gbsk and Conbon)