5 Minutes With Suzi Weiss-Fischmann, OPI Executive Vice-President & Artistic Director

Our love affair with OPI marks the day when nail polish became one of the trendiest categories in beauty. The Northern California company started in 1981 but it was really the late 00’s when nail polish became a serious fashion statement. All we beauty editors wanted was that gorgeous greige “You Don’t Know Jacques” on our fingers. OPI’s FW08 French Collection was a must-have in every makeup case and vanity table. The brand has been one of the top pioneers in the nail category and it’s thanks to one manicure genius: Suzi Weiss-Fischmann, OPI’s executive vice-president and artistic director. From the smooth formulas, addictive hues and those witty nail polish names (how many times did you laugh after applying “I Don’t Give a Rotterdam!” or grin at “Kiss Me on My Tulips” polishes from OPI’s Holland collection? Answer? Every time.) OPI’s latest San Francisco collection is filled with the same light-hearted and smart polish names with colors that perfectly transition us into the FW13 season to come. And it’s all thanks to Suzi. We loved the manicures the brand’s artists created at BCBG, Houghton and Jenni Kayne during New York Fashion Week. Stylesight interviews the well-mani’d creative on her inspirations for the coming season and her secrets to succeeding in the beauty industry.

Stylesight: What were your favorite beauty looks on the SS14 runways?
Suzi Weiss-Fischmann: “I really liked Prabal Gurung’s collection for Spring 2014. His incorporation of florals and appliqués was feminine but edgy.”

SS: Music, fabrics, art, icons: which of these are inspiring you for the F/W 14 season?
SWF: “All four are inspiring! When creating nail lacquers, I take a close look at runway trends, prominent color palettes and textures. I travel often, drawing inspiration from street fashion, food, music, movies and more. Music: I’m currently inspired by Justin Timberlake’s sound and fashion sense. I love his suit and tie look; it’s like Frank Sinatra’s style, revisited for today’s environment. For fabrics, I’m loving beautiful florals – classic patterns with more non-traditional looks. For art, I’m inspired by bold and graphic California street art. For icons, I really admire Carolina Herrera. She has a chic look that she achieves through classic and timeless clothing, accessorized with modern pieces.”

SS: Your motto that has set you on a path to success?
SWF: “There’s one word that has set me on a path to success: Passion. It’s a necessity for any profession.”

SS: What is the secret to succeeding in the beauty business? Is there one?
SWF: “My secret is not being afraid to make decisions. Look to others for advice, but not for answers.”

OPI’s petal-pink manicures at Houghton SS14.

SS: Good luck charm (item, person or pet)?
SWF: “I collect Hermes scarves and wear them for good luck.”

SS: Beauty project you’re most proud of?
SWF: “I am most proud of making a difference in the beauty industry. Manicures used to be only for special occasions, or for women who could afford the high price tag. Today, nail lacquer has become the ultimate accessory, and through OPI, I have contributed to making nail lacquer relevant and accessible for women around the world.”

SS: What is one thing that helps give you an inspirational pick-me-up?
SWF: “My two children.”

SS: First experience with beauty? Tell us about a moment or memory.
SWF: “I discovered my passion for beauty when I was 10 years old; I would tease my mother’s hair in an attempt to experiment with new styles.”

OPI’s moon-manicures at Jenni Kane SS14

SS: Beauty product (skincare or makeup) you’d never live or leave the house without?
SWF: “Definitely lips. Chanel lip gloss in Giggle.”

SS: Name the beauty campaign or editorial spread (old or new) that’s inspired you the most.
SWF: “I’m a big fan of Karl Lagerfeld and any campaign he photographs. As a designer and as a photographer, he’s exceptional.”

— Glynnis Mapp, Stylesight Beauty Editor

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