1. Life & Culture

Longest acrylic nails? Tampa’s Odilon Ozare sets Guinness record

The mysterious man behind the world’s tallest hat has a new world record for nails, and a nearly full-page spread in the ’Guinness World Records’ 2020 book.
Odilon Ozare poses for a photo with his Guinness world record-setting acrylic nails at Ella's Americana Folk Art Cafe in Tampa.
Odilon Ozare poses for a photo with his Guinness world record-setting acrylic nails at Ella's Americana Folk Art Cafe in Tampa. [ Courtesy of Guinness World Records 2020 ]
Published Sep. 14, 2019

If you caught the WFLA-TV Daytime segment featuring the mysterious milliner known as Odilon Ozare you may have — in addition to watching host Jerry Penacoli gently fork jerk chicken into Ozare’s mustachioed mouth — heard about his attempt to break the world record for longest acrylic nails.

It’s now official, Guinness confirms. Ozare has brought another world record home to Tampa.

Ozare and his 4-foot-long multicolored nails earned a nearly full-page spread in the Guinness World Records 2020 hardcover book recently released in stores. Appearing in the printed book is an honor that only goes to a select number of Guinness record holders.

Take everything Ozare says with a grain of salt — even his name. As the Times reported in 2018, Ozare may or may not be the elaborate, performance art, alter ego of a Seminole Heights man.

Whoever he is, his records are real. He said it wasn’t easy setting his second one.

“At one point I was hospitalized with a serious injury called a nail avulsion," Ozare said. “The doctors told me I’d never grow a nail on that finger again. But I defied all the odds and bounced back with the help of holistic healers, reiki, acupuncture and some crystal work. Also Neosporin and a Band-Aid.”

RELATED: Guinness says a Tampa man set a record for the tallest hat. There is no record of his existence.

He said he apprenticed under a “real innovator of the craft” who goes simply by Shaniqua at her local nail salon — “it’s since closed” — before spending more than 200 hours perfecting a method that would allow him to create such long acrylics without breakage.

A Guinness spokesperson said the company set strict rules for the nail record. They included stipulation that two professional nail technicians witnessed the attempt to confirm the nails were made to professional standards. Ozare also had to submit video evidence that the nails were worn for at least one hour, and show they were constructed from the same materials as commercially available acrylic nails and not, he said, "like carbon fiber or something.”

Ozare burst onto the record-attempting scene in 2018 when he set the record for world’s tallest hat with a 15-foot, 9-inch-tall top hat that is on permanent display at Ella’s Americana Folk Art Cafe in Seminole Heights in Tampa. He made public appearances, throwing out the first pitch at a Bradenton Marauders baseball game and as a “celebrity judge” at the wiener dog races at Riverfest.

He hopes the record will inspire others toward his “level of greatness," and, as a “Bravoholic,” maybe get him a gig as the guest celebrity bartender on an episode of Andy Cohen’s Bravo talk show Watch What Happens Live.

RELATED: Odilon Ozare tells the Chris Gethard Show why Tampa is greater than New York

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Ozare said he has several other records and projects in the works, including a line of fashionable eyebrow extensions and the world’s tallest high heel. He claims to have stocked a pond with hagfish and other slime-producing aquatic species in order to develop clothing fabric made from “slime fibers."

“I’m sure they thought the first guy to collect silk from a silkworm was crazy, too,” he said.

Ozare said he was considering opening his own eyebrow salon in Tampa, but first hired a marketing consultant to check his Q Score, a common measure of celebrity brand appeal.

“They told me they’d never gotten a lower Q rating from a celebrity ever,” he said. “So I told them they’re obviously not a legitimate company.”


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