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OPI Signs Deal With Mariah Carey

The first of two collections will hit the company’s global distribution of salons, spas and retailers in January.

The nail craze, already at fever pitch, is about to rise another octave.

This story first appeared in the August 10, 2012 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Mariah Carey, the chart-topping, Grammy Award-winning songstress with a five-octave vocal range, has signed on with OPI Products Inc. for two nail polish collections launching next year. The first collection of eight shades will hit OPI’s global distribution of salons, spas and retailers in January, followed by another later in the year with an as yet undetermined number of shades.

“I actually went to beauty school in 11th grade so I could have something to fall back on, so believe me, I’ve done my share of manicures as well as getting them,” said Carey, who added that although a neutral nail is her go-to, she has been recently donning metallic and pastel shades. “OPI knows that the polish you use makes a big difference not only in the look, but in the care of your nails and that’s why I believe in the brand.”

The timing could hardly be better for OPI as Carey, known for strong comebacks, is stepping into the spotlight again after a three-year hiatus from albums and giving birth to twins Monroe and Moroccan last year. She’s expected to release a new album soon — a promo of sorts for it came last week in the form of the single “Triumphant (Get ’Em)” — and is joining the judges’ table on the next season of “American Idol,” which Jennifer Lopez proved can be a powerful platform for fashion and beauty.

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“[It] is an eclectic mix of vocal-driven ballads, up-tempos and midtempos,” said Carey about the upcoming release. “I’m not one to refer to myself in the third person, but a lot of songs will feel like ‘classic Mariah Carey songs.’”

Suzi Weiss-Fischmann, executive vice president and artistic director of OPI, said, “Nails are part of her personality. I really have always looked for celebrities for whom nails are very important, and it is not something you just Photoshop on a picture. She was very much part of the color selection.”

Carey, who the public has followed since her recording debut 22 years ago through two marriages, the box-office flop “Glitter” and the daring drama “Precious,” and more number-one U.S. singles than any other solo artist, represents a shift in style from the artists that have recently been a prominent part of OPI’s collaboration roster, including Katy Perry and Nicki Minaj, as well as Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez for OPI’s mass brand Nicole by OPI.

Usually, Weiss-Fischmann said, OPI does only a single collection with its celebrity collaborators, but Carey’s stardom is so huge that two collections were justified.