There are a lot of moving parts when it comes to organizing a New York Fashion Week show. There’s the couture, the casting of models and the arduous process of figuring out hair and makeup that will become predictions for the next season’s trends (as Bobbi Brown predicted fall’s next makeup trend backstage at Marchesa). Another important part of pulling off a successful show is picking out the nail polish colors to perfectly complement the overall look and feel of a collection. We spoke with Zoya Nail Polish’s Creative Director Rebecca Isa on how shows nail down (excuse the pun) the polish hues. Get excited: She took us inside Zoya’s magical Color Library, which contains over 600 shades of nail polish! Prep yourself for manicure heaven.

Rebecca Isa - Headshot - RGB_BMP_2084

Aside from being Zoya’s Creative Director, Rebecca Isa is considered one of the very best in the world of nail artistry. She fills us in on exactly how fashion designers find their nail art and colors. The whole process of picking colors begins long before any models hit the runway — about three or four months out. “When I’m working on the color assortment with the designers, one of the things they do is they send me fabric samples, inspiration boards or key color palettes,” Rebecca tells us.

zoya article 2016 1_RGB

“We have over 600 shades,” Rebecca says. Just feast your eyes on that gorgeous selection! “I go into our Color Library and I basically pull colors that work with designers’ aesthetics. I usually send about 20 to 30 bottles of color.” In order to help the designers make an informed decision, the colors are sent both on nail plates and in live bottles.

zoya article 2016 4_RGB

Then a month before the show, when the clothing designs have been selected, Zoya’s team starts painting various designs on nail plates and sending them to the designers for selection. “They pare it down to between six and 10. Those are the ones we test, and from that they choose the colors they want for the show,” Rebecca tells us. Two weeks out, the test dates are set and finalists are chosen both for color and design. The final shades and looks are tested and fine-tuned, and the winning colors and designs are chosen.

zoya article 2016 5_RGB

On the day of, the nail tech team is fully trained on the color(s) and designs. The call times can be as early as three hours before the show. This year Zoya decided to not only display the winning colors, but also all the finalists that the designers chose between for the final look. “It’s a wonderful look inside the mind of the design team because you can see how they were thinking and what made them choose this color,” Rebecca says, pointing at a sage shade, “over this color,” pointing at an emerald hue.

Is there anything about fashion week you’d like to know about? Tweet us @BritandCo!

(Photos via Zoya)