Tuesday, July 11, 2006

OPI Revisited

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After I posted about OPI colors and paint colors and the fact that I'd like to have the honor of naming fashion shades, I began to search for more information about the OPI company. Here is an article that holds some verrrry interrrrresting information -- at least to me!

Local color
OPI gives its nail polishes eccentric names with regional ties. Could Boston be next?
By Kate M. Jackson, Globe Correspondent August 4, 2005

Some people wear their hearts on their sleeves; others wear their attitudes on their toes.

Whether you're throwing confetti or throwing a tantrum, OPI has probably assigned your mindset a color and bottled it. Since 1989, the nail lacquer company has captured all moods whimsical and wily with shades like ''Not So Bora Bora Pink" and ''My Auntie Drinks Chianti."

For Suzi Weiss-Fischmann, nail color is as much about creating an experience as it is about making a statement. Each season Weiss-Fischmann, OPI's executive vice president and artistic director, assembles a creative team to name new lacquer colors based on different locations worldwide.

''Six or seven of us get together in a room for about five to six hours. We take out the map, and then things get really goofy," said Weiss-Fischmann, who's drawn inspiration for past collections from such places as Canada, Greece, and Italy.

During naming sessions, the goal is to capture the colors of the landscape and the eccentricities of each location -- and then tie them into the season's fashion trends, she said.

OPI's most popular color to date is a feisty red shade titled ''I'm Not Really a Waitress." ''That was part of our Hollywood collection," Weiss-Fischmann explained, ''because everyone in LA says they're not really a waitress."

For the Canadian collection, OPI gave local colloquialism a shout-out with a shade titled ''Nice Color, Eh?" ''Aphrodite's Pink Nightie" was the goddess of the Greek collection. For the Italian collection, Weiss-Fischmann said the lacquers mirrored the hues of a Tuscan vineyard, and also paid tribute to some beloved mechanics from New Jersey with the color ''Hey Vito, Is My Car Red-y."

The creativity and humor pasted across the tiny name tags on the bottom of each OPI bottle have secured a worldwide following of customers who are not only fans, but devotees.

Kelley Cyr of Milton almost switched nail salons when her regular manicurist suggested she try a similar color from another brand. ''I insisted on my 'Coney Island Cotton Candy,' " Cyr said.

''Home on the O-Range" is an OPI color that Kathleen Norton of Hingham calls ''the perfect summer shade."

''It's a bright coral that really complements your tan," said Norton, who found the color had a hidden bonus: ''It makes my wedding and engagement rings look bigger."

At Neet Nails in Norwell, owner Anita Asci said an OPI-inspired venting session once erupted among the manicures and pedicures.

''Everyone seemed to be annoyed with their husbands or life in general, and we started making up colors based on our feelings and thought about submitting them to OPI," she said.

Some of the names they came up with that day included ''Push Me Over the Edge Red" and ''Can't Find the Vicodin Violet," said Asci.

Yesterday OPI unveiled its latest creation, the Chicago Collection. ''The 12 new shades feature a lot of creamy browns and rich reds, which are the hottest colors for this fall," said Weiss-Fischmann.

New shades include ''That's an 'EL' of a Color!" a brick-red polish named after Chicago's elevated transit system, and a shimmery nude hue called ''Skinny Dip'n in Lake Michg'n."

Whether or not OPI plans a Boston-based collection ''is top secret," said Weiss-Fischmann, ''but you never know."

Somewhere out there ''Red Sox Red" or ''Pahk the Cah-rimson" are just begging to be bottled.

Notice the section I highlighted in "Mauvelous Mauve" (you like that shade name I just came up with, Cruisin' Mom?). And think back to the scene I imagined at OPI, the round-table tactics to come up with names for new collection.

See... I wasn't so far off the mark, was I? Maybe there is a place for me at that corporation, after all. Suzi Weiss-Fischmann, hope you're reading this and not just contemplating your next manicure...

1 comment:

cruisin-mom said...

Mauvelous Mauve is, well, MAHVELOUS!