I’ve interviewed Suzi Weiss-Fischmann, executive VP and artistic director of OPI Products Inc., several different times during the course of my career at NAILS. This time, I had the inspiring help of our NAILS Facebook fans, who were full of great questions to ask her.
She answers six of your questions below. (And I love how her runner-up career choice is the same as mine!)
Q: Back in the '80s, the predominantly male-oriented tattoo industry made a conscious effort to market to women, destroying a cultural prejudice against tattoos on women. In your view should the nail polish industry do the same, but with men, and if so, how would we do it?
A: We already market to the metrosexual man. I think grooming for men is popular. My husband goes every month for his manicure and pedicure. Men consider it almost like oral hygiene; just because they don’t necessarily wear nail polish, that doesn’t mean they don’t think their nails should be groomed. I think it says the same thing about a man as it says about a women when well-groomed nails — it means they take care of themselves.
I love men when they have their nails buffed. Or use certain treatment products like if they have damaged nails or ridges. I don’t necessarily advocate men wearing polish. I want to keep it to myself.
Q: What past polish trend would you like brought back?
A: We have brought back several trends. Nail art is huge. Shatter is incredible. Nail art is all about individuality. I love that it’s making a comeback and even going mainstream. I love that trend.
Nail color is hotter than ever. Nothing is taboo from darks to lights to brights. All shades look good on all skin tones.
Q: If an OPI fan has an idea for a polish collection, is there a way for her to submit her idea for consideration to OPI?
A: No, really everything is generated in the marketing department.
Q: Why did you enter the nail business, and have you accomplished all your goals?
A: We saw an opportunity. We came from the dental industry, which is similar to acrylics in the early ’80s (the same material as is used to make dentures). We saw excitement. We saw the opportunity to work with women who make decisions.
I have accomplished a lot in business. OPI re-branded nail polish in 1989. Before, women wore nail color only on special occasions. We made nail color sexy; we gave it personality. Today, there’s no woman that doesn’t wear nail polish. I’ve accomplished a lot and made women feel good and made nail polish into an accessory.
I’m always looking for innovation. The consumer wants to be excited — she wants newness, she wants innovation — and I hope to be able to deliver that in the coming years.
Q: If you weren’t in the beauty industry, what would your dream job be?
A: Decorating. When my family wakes up on Saturday, they never know how the room will look. Don’t sit where you sat last night because there may be a hole. I may have moved the chair.
I love to decorate and I love color.
Q: How has your role changed since OPI sold to Coty?
A: Really, nothing changed. Nobody from Coty came. Nobody from OPI left. We continue to run it as an entrepreneurial company. The key to OPI’s success is being a global company. We’ll continue to keep the culture of the brand — that is the marching orders from Coty.
I do the same thing that I did in 2010. I did the same thing in 2011. And I continue to do the same thing in 2012.