Suzi Says: “There’s Always a New Shade of Red”

You may never have met her in person, but you’ve most likely met Suzi Weiss-Fischmann, executive VP and artistic director of OPI Products Inc., countless times in your salon. Ever wondered who the “Suzi” is in polish color names Suzi & The Lifeguard, Suzi Skis in the Pyrenees, and most recently, Suzi Says Feng Shui? It’s Weiss-Fischmann — and having polish colors named after her is actually one of the least unique parts of her job.
This OPI exec has been the creative force behind 1,000-plus OPI lacquer shades in the past 21 years. She recently sat down with me at ISSE to talk about the process of collection creation, the interesting places she travels in pursuit of the latest fashion and beauty trends, and the company’s exciting new partnership with Dell computers.
When she’s designing a new collection, Suzi can often be found in her color room where she’ll be “applying and reapplying nail polish on my nails to see how it looks on an actual nail. I could be doing one color as many times as 10 or 12 takes until I hit the right shade.” Wouldn’t I love to be a fly on that wall?
I thought that one challenge she might face is in staying creative over so many years and consistently being able to create polish colors that she hasn’t come up with before. I asked her how she overcomes this version of “writers’ block.”
She responded: “When I create a collection, it’s always like I’ve never done one before….Probably in the past five years I’ve done colors that I never thought I would do 10 years ago: the greens and blues, and darks like Lincoln Park After Dark and Russian Navy — who would have thought that a navy blue color would be such a hit on nails?
I try to add some new bold shades that I’ve not done before, and, for the ones that I’ve done, there’s always a new shade of red or a new shade of pink. I also do a lot of embellishments — adding glitter and shimmer — almost making colors three-dimensional.”
You can listen to the entire six-minute interview here.

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