To answer that question, we must go back to 1999. Designers have always used crystals in their work, but Swarovski began sponsoring some of that work in the late ’90s, starting with Alexander McQueen. Since then, Swarovski has worked on various projects to elevate its name within the fashion industry, from sponsoring the CFDA’s young designer awards to working with Rodarte on those now-infamous Black Swan costumes.
But it’s the fashion week sponsorship that proves the biggest commitment, both for the designer and Swarovski. Not only does the designer apply for the sponsorship–which of course includes financial support–he or she must present a business plan to the Swarovski team, as well as a convincing argument for how crystal will be incorporated into that season’s garments. Swarovski takes that latter part very seriously, as they should. After all, the reason for supporting these young designers is to keep the Swarovski brand fresh in the eyes of fashion industry’s influencers. Teaming up with internationally recognized brands, whether the latest It designer or a storied fashion house, is a genius marketing strategy.
It also helps that Nadja is genuine about her love for fashion and the designers she supports. “It is so inspiring to watch the designers present something unexpected and impactful on the catwalk and expose the versatility of Swarovski crystal once again,” she says.
So congrats to the New York designers showing crystalized pieces this week–we look forward to seeing how creative you get.