When OPI Co-Founder and Executive VP Suzi Weiss-Fischmann launched her professional nailcare business in 1981, she was full of big ideas. But even she had no idea how far the brand would go. Fast forward 34 years and OPI is the world leader in the professional nailcare industry, selling 100 million bottles per year and Weiss-Fischmann is known as “The First Lady of Nails.” Now the journey continues: OPI has joined forces with
Like all success stories, OPI had to start somewhere: Somewhat surprisingly, the brand acronym stands for “Odontorium Products Inc.” Originally the Hollywood-based company produced and sold dental products. Fun fact: Some of the first materials the nail company used for their original acrylics came from dental materials. Who would have thought?
Whatever its origins, OPI is now respected worldwide in the nailcare world. The brand’s bottles are known not only for their on-trend colors and long-lasting formulas but also their punny, punchy shade names.
Examples of the tongue-in-cheek moniker-making include “I’m Not Really A Waitress” (a shimmery cherry red) and “Tickle My France-y” (a nude mauve) and it seems as if almost every woman has a go-to color. “My favorite shades are the ones that were game changers," says Weiss-Fischmann, "like ‘Lincoln Park After Dark,’ which is a dark eggplant. We introduced it when pink and reds were ubiquitous. After we showed these dark shades they became cool to wear year-round and nail color became a form of expression. Now there are no rules.”
Creating the amusing color names takes a team of six, locked doors, many hours and tons of food (but no booze), according to Weiss-Fischmann. Brainstorming is the name of the game, and hundreds of options are considered before the final decisions are made. How do the winners get chosen? “We just know when something clicks,” she says, who admits that there are often close runners-up that just didn’t make the cut for reasons that even the team might not be able to explain. These are put in the vault for later.
Thus several of
But how did OPI use these sodas as inspiration? After all, many of the liquids are similar colors. “The
Polish and philanthropy are equally important to Weiss-Fischmann. OPI is an ardent supporter of Delete Blood Cancer, an organization that encourages members to register to become bone marrow donors with the hope of saving the lives of people with leukemia and other diseases. Weiss-Fischmann was honored at the Delete Blood Cancer Gala in NYC on May 7th, and OPI will launch two limited edition lacquers to support the cause.