An almost forgotten brand is making its way into mass stores, more than a decade after it was conceived for salons.
OPI Products Inc., the 26-year-old, independently owned nail lacquer company, has dusted off Nicole by OPI, a brand that was introduced to salons in 1997 to raise money for charity. OPI's Hungarian immigrant founders, Suzy Weiss-Fischmann and George Schaeffer, are aware of their success and are always looking at ways to give back.
"It was called 'Color With a Conscience,'" recalled Weiss-Fischmann of the beauty/charity initiative.
At its height, Nicole by OPI nail lacquers were sold in 75,000 salons across the country. But six years after its introduction, the line was pulled back.
"OPI was growing and we needed to focus on that," recalled Weiss-Fischmann. For 2007, industry sources estimate OPI generated $120 million in wholesale sales. The company's products — which include polishes, lipsticks, nail treatments, creams and pedicure products — are sold in more than 80 countries.
Last year, however, Weiss-Fischmann saw an opportunity in the mass sector, since "the consumer is always looking for new brands, even in Target or Wal-Mart." The former seemed a natural fit, she said, a retailer she described as "the hippest in the U.S."
Nicole by OPI nail lacquer entered Target in June, as a test, in 80 of its locations, with 21 shades on three shelves within traditional nail care. Items retailed for $7.99. Sales were successful, said Weiss-Fischmann, and by September the line was sold chainwide.
In December, another Nicole by OPI item, Nic's Sticks Paint & Go Nail Lacquer, entered Wal-Mart. Nic's Sticks are nail polish pens designed for on-the-go application. Nic's Sticks will enter Target in February, as well as Walgreens, Meijer and Longs. They retail for $6.99.
Weiss-Fischmann said Nicole by OPI shades are different from the OPI shades available in salons. Also, Nicole has been designed for use in either one or two coats; OPI shades are designed to be worn in two coats. Formulas do not contain DBP, toluene or formaldehyde.
"The Nicole shades are for someone with an attitude, who knows themselves and the kind of woman they are," Weiss-Fischmann said, adding that it was named after her now 22-year-old niece.The brand is not just dabbling in mass, either.
"Anything that OPI touches wants to be a huge impact. [We're] looking to be a major player," she said.
Nicole by OPI looks to go head-to-head with Coty Inc.'s recently acquired Sally Hansen brand, the market leader in nail care.
Weiss-Fischmann said she did not make sales projections for Nicole by OPI in 2008.
"We sat down to have a meeting this month and I said, 'Uh, I think we should meet in June.' We're just starting out. In six or eight months we'll have some numbers."
To let consumers know OPI has a brand at mass, the company is advertising in weekly publications such as Us Weekly, In Touch, Star, OK and Life & Style. OPI sales representatives plan to attend ECRM's cosmetics show later this month as well as NACDS's Marketplace show in June to further relationships with buyers.
@tradesy is turning the concept of a showroom upside down with its new space in Santa Monica. Here, the company plans to hold events, art exhibits and a showcase rare fashion pieces like this Louis Vuitton boxing set. Get all the details on Tradesy’s first showroom on WWD.com. #wwdnews
Spotted last night at the @erdem x @hm launch event: Kate Bosworth, Rashida Jones, Kirsten Dunst and Selma Blair. The party, which took place in LA, also marked the opening of their pop-up shop. “I was interested in creating a collection that wasn’t in any way disposable. It was about pieces you’d create and keep forever, things that have a permanence to it,” designer Erdem Moralioglu said. #wwdeye (📷: Katie Jones)
Renee Zellweger in yellow in 2001 and again in 2017. Chosen as one of the 12 @pantone Leading Spring Colors (and dubbed “Meadowlark”), it only makes sense that the bright hue stands the test of time and is making a resurgence this season, seen already on stars like @blakelively and @gigihadid. (📷: Donato Sardello & @rexfeatures) #wwdfashion #tbt
Dior’s 70th anniversary celebration continues with a new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. “Christian Dior,” which is scheduled to run through March 18, takes a look at the founders tenure from 1947 to 1057 and feature 40 designs. Pictured here is an evening gown from the Ailée, fall 1948-49 haute couture collection. #wwdfashion (📷: Brian Boyle)
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews