Last Friday, I had the privilege of attending the launch of OPI’s Spring/Summer 2015 Hawaii Collection, held at Mildred’s Temple Kitchen, Toronto. This occasion marked the finale of a whirlwind 2 days of events that began with the Elizabeth Arden Spring/Summer 2015 launches, followed by the Nicole by OPI Spring/Summer 2015 launch.
Upon arriving, I was greeted with gorgeous island-themed displays featuring the collection – a welcoming sight indeed, considering how gloomy the weather was that day. After quickly reconnecting with several familiar faces and some who were only names to me up until that day, I headed to the manicure stations where I chose That’s Hula-rious! – a fresh mint hue – as my mani du jour, a shade that turned out to be overwhelmingly popular with several attendees, from what I later noticed.
The tempo really picked up once VP and Artistic Director of OPI, Suzi Weiss-Fischmann, arrived and after welcoming us all to the luncheon, we sat down for a delectable Hawaiian-themed meal (which unfortunately I barely did any justice to, as I was hit with the migraine to end all migraines — still not sure how I survived the flight back home a few hours later). Capping off the day, I was able to sit down once again (see my previous interview here) with Suzi for a quick interview and to get the scoop directly from her on what we can expect to see from OPI.
I hope you enjoy the preview photos and interview.
Thank you to my wonderful hosts for inviting me to be part of such an incredible event
Welcome! Tell me about this latest collection
What was I going to do for Spring? I alluded to it when I spoke earlier and mentioned how women have arrived – we want to be more relaxed and comfortable, a common theme I also noticed from the Spring runway shows. Hawaii was the perfect inspiration; it’s an exotic locale and makes you feel wonderfully relaxed and alive at the same time – from the climate, the people, the food, the music and the colours.
As seen all over the various fashion shows, neutrals were once again dominating but with a twist; the new ‘midi’ look was shown where you leave the moon of the nail bare. Another way to wear neutrals is with a differently coloured free edge, or even applied as just one graphic line down the nail. The 70’s free-spirit vibe is represented by a mauve hue, a shade OPI hasn’t featured for quite some time, mint – very on trend and a perfect representation of Spring/Summer, the lavenders, purples, corals and pink – must have a pink, of course! Gold which I’ve also shown for the Holiday 2014 Collection, and metallics – which I’ll be showing more for Fall 2015. Rounding the collection out, are a lot of classics such as crèmes – which also happens to be the trend that I’m seeing coming up for future collections.
How do you go about selecting a country/city for a collection?
It usually begins with predictions/trend books from Milan and Paris, that look at the direction of colour in fashion, which in fact begins on the streets by observing people – a type of historical summary of colours and fashion, if you will. Then it’s up to the individual to translate this information to their own application, whether it’s in furniture, fashion, package design, colour cosmetics, or nail colour.
How does this process differ from celebrity collaborations?
To begin with, selecting a celebrity to collaborate with is not trend-driven, but more of my own personal choice. With Gwen Stefani, for example, she’s very much a part of the entire process and she personally chose the colours and finishes for the collection, even going as far as selecting individual glitter shapes from an assortment presented before her, for the creation of some shades.
The OPI shade names – how do you go about creating them?
First, I create the shades and then there are about 6 of us – from Nicole by OPI, Creative, Marketing, Purchasing, even Customer Service, basically the same team for many years now, that get together. We gather in a room with food representative of the country/city the collection is themed after, and then we brainstorm. The process can take an entire day and is very democratic; we all need to agree on the final name, but we also have fun with it.
I can just imagine the names that do NOT make the final cut!
That’s for off-camera! The blooper reel! We’ve have many good laughs over the years, believe me!
Can you briefly tell me about the creative process behind bringing forth a collection?
Taking the Hawaii Collection, for example, the entire process was very personal for me as it’s a place I’ve visited many times with my family. I was inspired by the ocean, the hula skirts, even the smells of the island that evoke images and which spark colour ideas in my mind. I also have to factor in which shades/colours the consumer will be attracted to as well as make sure it works in harmony with the current fashion styles. Don’t ask me to try to pin it down exactly; all I know, is that for 25 years this method has just worked for me.
This continued success and longevity just confirms that you’re doing something right!
[laughs] I hope so!
What territory, with regards to nail polish, has OPI not yet explored?
Definitely China, as I believe Chinese women are starting to explore and embrace beauty much more. With India, and while we previously released an Indian-themed collection, there’s a new middle class that is becoming more interested in – along with buying – beauty products as well. Another country is Brazil – latin women love and indulge in beauty products, and outside of North America and Europe, I feel that we need to venture out and include these women who have made beauty such a huge part of their everyday lives.
As a woman whose talent, drive and creativity is so highly admired in the industry, can you tell me what trend(s) you forecast next?
I continue to see textures; you’re going to see some new mattes from OPI for next year, as well as a continuation of this classic theme – such as crème hues. Shades such as mauve will be making a comeback and you’ll be seeing new shades in our Fall 2015 collection that have not been shown from OPI – or other brands – for a long time now. Nail colour continues to be important in women’s lives and it always amazes me how a bottle of nail polish can engineer a feeling of empowerment with women. Not everyone can afford a designer wardrobe, but a shade inspired from luxury fashion makes you feel a part of the entire experience.
Finally, do the rumours of a ’50 Shades of Grey’ collaboration have any truth to them?
Yes! The movie is being released on Valentine’s Day 2015, and the collection will include 6 shades – and not all grey, but a beautiful collection just the same! As with other collaborations, the author of the book was very hands on in the development and creation of these shades. This movie is not so much about sexuality, as it is about exploring our emotions and in the case of the collection, it also ties in with how colour affects our emotions as well.
I thank Suzi Weiss-Fischmann for taking the time to speak with me – it’s always such a pleasure!
BEAUTY SCOOP! So, you heard it here first and directly from Suzi Weiss-Fischmann herself: get ready for a 6-bottle 50 Shades of Grey Collection collaboration (and not all grey!), new textures and mattes for next year, as well as retro shades making a comeback for Fall 2015.
fuel to start my day: Belgian waffles with fruit compote & lemon cream … and plenty of coffee
my look: Banana Republic cream vegan leather skirt, Denim & Supply bone oversized cowl-neck sweater, black over-the-knee socks, black Prada suede high-heeled boots and my beloved Theory moto jacket
the gorgeous Autumnal display in the lobby of The Thompson Hotel, Toronto
the venue: Mildred’s Temple Kitchen, Toronto
Introducing: the OPI Hawaii Collection
what’s an event without the ubiquitous candy bar?!
it’s not easy for me to sit back and have someone else to do my nails #controlfreak
the shade I chose: That’s Hula-rious! (the name, right?!)
Welcome speech given by Suzi Weiss-Fischmann
Pineapple-Hawaiian style slaw
chillin’ with my friendly neighbourhood mani-geek, Karen
matching tips with Marta of ChitChatNails
ignore my frown face – I swear that I was really enjoying the conversation
Apparently our hosts all got Suzi’s memo and wore coordinating outfits!
My box/bottle of OPI’s Don’t Speak 18k Gold Top Coat personally autographed by Suzi