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Edita reports | In Conversation With Nadja Swarovski

In coversation with Nadja Swarovski

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In coversation with Nadja Swarovski 6

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From wedding gowns encrusted in blinding crystals to skulls with added bling by Alexander McQueen, Swarovski is the brand who made the world wonder: Are diamonds really a girl’s best friend? While a kiss may be grand, it won’t pay the rental on your humble flat. Diamonds won’t either, come to think of it. But swapping them for crystals would definitely give you enough leftover budget to prevent you from getting evicted.

Known to our grandparents as the poor man’s diamond or imitation jewellery, crystals have not had the easiest road to luxury. However, nowadays hearing the words “carefully embellished with thousands of Swarovski crystals” makes us think of lavishness, indulgence and not necessarily attainability.

Achieving such a shift in consumer thinking and behaviour is no straight-forward task. It seems to me that Nadja Swarovski has accomplished the seemingly impossible. This is why it has been a privilege to sit in one room with her, fashion journalism legend Colin McDowell and V&A Director Martin Roth.

Soft spoken, approachable and wonderfully business-minded, Nadja chatted about her life in the family business and the brand’s mission to make the world sparkle. In my view, Swarovski doesn’t necessarily do that by selling jewellery and keepsakes. I think the biggest sparkler the brand brings to the world is the platform it provides for young talent to shine via Swarovski’s numerous sponsorships and collaborations. Without Swarovski’s initiatives, a great number of fashion brands and artist names wouldn’t survive in an already saturated market; some wouldn’t even see the light of day in the first place.

Swarovski has also brought a plethora of high-end brands closer to the cash-strapped consumer by partnering with them on collections or limited edition pieces. Suddenly owning a piece by Viktor&Rolf or Alexander McQueen isn’t that cuckoo of a thought for those with tightened belts and the aforementioned rent bill looming over their heads.

Whatever our budgets are, most of us have a Swarovski-related memory, be it an impulse buy at the airport three minutes before the flight or a weightier, more thought-through purchase.

Mine is my father getting me an insanely sparkly Swarovski chocker for my 18th birthday. I chose it over one made of 14k (also known as “Russian“) rose gold. Sometimes I look back and kick myself for opting for the costume piece as opposed to the gold necklace the price of which keeps on rising. I guess at that moment I wasn’t looking for an investment. I just needed my world to sparkle.

Thank you once again to the V&A for having me.

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25 Responses

  1. I wish I could make it to the event… Ironically, my memories, even the very first ones, were never about Swarovski jewellery, but their crystal figurines. I remember reading a story of the company and family in Russian Elle or Vogue many-many years ago, in one of the first issues, and then dreaming of something by Swarovski. And then, a few years later, I received a present from my husband-to-be: he was in England, I was still in Russia and, frankly, the marriage thing wasn’t even mentioned yet… ๐Ÿ˜€ He sent me the rose, so I could see it every morning until the time when he’ll be able to give me the real one. So the rose travelled from England to Russia and then all the way back, when I took it with me… Still got it, on my bedside table. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Sorry for such a long comment – memories can be rather lengthy… ๐Ÿ˜€

  2. The showcased pieces left my mouth watering! I must be the only girl not craving diamonds, honestly they look exactly the same as crystals, why waste so much more money on an accessory when most people can never tell anyway? I have a big chunky ring from my dad as a present for my 18th birthday too, as a beautiful memory ๐Ÿ™‚


  3. Hello Dear ๐Ÿ™‚ I really like the thought of having a true gem against one that sparkles just as bright. There is a metphor for life in that comparison for sure. This is so interesting, I knew nothing of this lady or her contributions to fashion. Fascinating stuff and those bejewled items are magnificent ๐Ÿ™‚ Kisses

    All Things Bright and Lovely

  4. GORG!!!! beautiful!

    love the blog too girl! if you get the chance, I would love for you to check out my blog and let me know what you think! (maybe even follow, no pressure though!)

    love, rach.

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