Swarovski (/swɒˈrɒfski/; German: [svaˈrɔfski] (About this soundlisten)) is an Austrian producer of glass headquartered in Wattens, Austria. Swarovski has been a family-owned business since it was founded in 1895 by Daniel Swarovski.

Swarovski
Private
IndustryFashion, crystal, jewellery
Founded1895; 125 years ago (1895) (as A. Kosmann, D. Swarovski & Co.)
FoundersDaniel Swarovski
Armand Kosman
Franz Weis
HeadquartersWattens, Austria
Key people
Markus Langes-Swarovski, Robert Buchbauer, Nadja Swarovski, Mathias Margreiter, Dr Christoph Swarovski, Andreas Buchbauer, Arno Pilcher
ProductsCrystal, genuine gemstones, created stones, accessories, and lighting
Revenue€3.5 billion Euros
Number of employees
~34,500 (2018)
Websiteswarovski.com

The company is split into three major industry areas: the Swarovski Crystal Business, that primarily produces lead glass (branded crystal) jewellery and accessories; Swarovski Optik, which produces optical instruments such as telescopes, telescopic sights for rifles, and binoculars; and Tyrolit, a manufacturer of grinding, sawing, drilling, and dressing tools, as well as a supplier of tools and machines.

Today, the Swarovski Crystal Business is one of the highest grossing business units within Swarovski, with a global reach of approximately 3,000 stores in around 170 countries, more than 29,000 employees, and a revenue of about 2.7 billion euros (in 2018).[1]

All Swarovski crystal produced since 2012 have been lead-free.[citation needed] Swarovski is now run by the fifth generation of family members.[2]

HistoryEdit

 
Daniel Swarovski (1862–1956), the founder of the company

Daniel Swarovski was born in northern Bohemia (now the Czech Republic), 20 km from the current border with Poland.[3][4] His father was a glass cutter and owned a small glass factory. It was there that the young Swarovski served an apprenticeship, becoming skilled in the art of glass-cutting. In 1892 he patented an electric cutting machine that facilitated the production of crystal glass.[5][6]

 
1899 advertisement for Kosmann, D. Swarovski & Co., featuring the edelweiss flower in its logo
 
Swarovski Kristallwelten Store

In 1895, Swarovski, financier Armand Kosmann, and Franz Weis founded the Swarovski company, originally known as A. Kosmann, D. Swarovski & Co. and shortened to KS & Co.[6] The company established a crystal-cutting factory in Wattens, Tyrol (Austria), to take advantage of local hydroelectricity for the energy-intensive grinding processes Daniel Swarovski had patented. Swarovski's vision was to make "a diamond for everyone" by making crystals affordable.[6][5][7]

In 1899, it first used the edelweiss flower in its logo and expanded to France, where it was known as Pierres Taillées du Tyrol ("Cut stones from Tyrol"). In 1919, Swarovski founded Tyrolit, bringing the grinding and polishing tools from the crystal business into a different market.[6]

In 1935, Swarovski's son Wilhelm created a customized pair of binoculars, which led to the launch of Swarovski Optik 14 years later. Swarovski Optik manufactures optical instruments such as binoculars, spotting scopes, rifle scopes and telescopes.[6]

In 1977, Swarovski entered the jewellery market in the United States.

Nadja Swarovski, the founder's great-great granddaughter, became the first female member of the Swarovski executive board in 2012.[8]

Victoria Swarovski, one of the current generation Swarovski's was the winner of Let's Dance (German TV series), and current co-host of that, and also a former judge on Das Supertalent, and a singer, and influencer.

Nazi PeriodEdit

Members of the Swarovski family were early, active and enthusiastic champions of National Socialism, and at least six of its members maintained membership in the illegal party prior to Austria’s annexation to National Socialist Germany on March 12, 1938. [9] Three weeks earlier, 500 marchers in the Tyrolean town of Wattens held a torchlight procession that ended with chants of "Sieg Heil" and "Heil Hitler." The majority of the participants, police determined, were Swarovski plant employees, among them Swarovski family heirs Alfred, Wilhelm and Friedrich.[10]

In its report to the state police on February 14, 1947, the Innsbruck district administrator called company head Alfred Swarovski “an enthusiastic member of the NSDAP."[11] Alfred Swarovski praised Hitler at business gatherings and took actions as a regional business leader to ensure that “Tyrolean industry could be integrated as smoothly as possible into the enormous gears of the economy of Greater Germany and into the National Socialist economic order." He sent "grateful loyalty greetings" to Adolf Hitler on his 49th birthday and arranged a donation of 100,000 shillings for Hitler to establish a holiday home in Tyrol. [12]

The company exploited its political connections and stewardship of the regional business association to emerge stronger from the Nazi era. During the war it diversified its production and expanded its business lines, adding abrasives, optical devices, telescopes, binoculars and other product lines during the war and growing from 500 to almost 1,200 employees between the Anschluss and March 1944.

"From my party affiliation, I only took advantage of the fact that it was possible for me as a party member to initiate the negotiations necessary for maintaining the company and to bring it to a successful conclusion with the responsible economic agencies of the Reich." Alfred Swarovski told the Innsbruck People's Court after the war.

In 1994, historian Horst Schreiber wrote about Swarovski’s past but was not granted access to company archives. [13]

The contemporary Swarovski company commissioned historian Dieter Stiefel as “a step towards dealing with our history in a serious and very proactive manner,” board spokesman Markus Langes-Swarovski said in 2018, however the study was not published because, Langes-Swarovski said, “Swarovski is a company that generally tries to keep the owners' personal stories largely out of the public eye because it does nothing for the business.” [14]

Swarovski Group’s website omits mention of the Nazi period in the “Our History” section, skipping the years between 1931 and 1949 on its timeline. [15]

ProductsEdit

 
Beetle designed as bottle opener, Swarovski, about 1978. Made of Rhodium and crystal glass
 
Container with "potlid", Swarovski. Made of crystal and opaque glass
 
Candle holder, crystal glass, Swarovski
 
Mawi x Atelier Swarovski

The Swarovski Crystal range includes glass sculptures and miniature, jewellery and rhinestones, home decor, and chandeliers.

All sculptures are marked with a logo. The original edelweiss flower Swarovski logo was replaced by an S.A.L. logo, which was replaced with the swan logo in 1988.[16]

Crystal glass is produced by melting a mixture of quartz sand, minium, potash and soda at high temperatures.[17] To create crystal glass that lets light refract in a rainbow spectrum, Swarovski coats some of its products with special metallic chemical coatings. For example, Aurora Borealis, or "AB", gives the surface a rainbow appearance.[18] Other coatings are named by the company, including Crystal Transmission, Volcano, Aurum, Shimmer, and Dorado. Coatings may be applied to only part of an object; others are coated twice, and thus are designated AB 2X, Dorado 2X, etc.

In 2004 Swarovski released Xilion, a copyrighted cut designed to optimise the brilliance of Roses (components with flat backs) and Chatons (diamond cut).

The Swarovski Group includes Tyrolit (makers of abrasive and cutting tools); Swareflex (reflective and luminous road markings); Swarovski Gemstones (synthetic and natural gemstones); and Swarovski Optik (optical instruments such as binoculars and rifle scopes).

Since 2006, the Royal Canadian Mint has issued collectors' coins with Swarovski crystal components. The 2006 crystal snowflake coin was gold (face value $300), with the reverse having six lens-shaped iridescent crystals on a snowflake. Subsequent years' crystal snowflake coins have been $20 silver coins featuring different coloured crystals. In 2018, the Canadian mint issued twelve different birthstone coins, each with a different Swarovski crystal. [19] The Canadian mint's 12-coin 2019 zodiac series will feature 20 Swarovski crystals on each coin. [20]

In 2014, Tristan da Cunha issued a five crown Christmas coin where the reverse has a small Swarovski crystal set in the guiding star behind a colour picture of one of the magi.[21]

In 2018, Equatorial Guinea issued a silver coin with a black Swarovski crystal skull element. [22]

Swarovski have created a line of liquid and solid perfumes.[23]

Exhibitions and museumEdit

The company runs a crystal-themed museum, Swarovski Kristallwelten (Crystal Worlds) at its original Wattens site (near Innsbruck, Austria). The Crystal Worlds Centre is fronted by a grass-covered head, the mouth of which is a fountain.

Swarovski work was exhibited at Asia's Fashion Jewellery & Accessories Fair based on the concept of a single continuous beam of fragmented light travelling through a crystal.[24]

In 2012, Swarovski collaborated with the London Design Museum to present an exhibition mixing digital technology with crystals.[25]

Swarovski businessesEdit

Atelier Swarovski
Atelier Swarovski collaborates with major luxury designers to create jewellery collections as well as architecture and home pieces (as part of the Atelier Swarovski Home department).
Viktor and Rolf, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Fredrikson Stallard, Zaha Hadid, John Pawson, Daniel Libeskind, Prince Dimitri, Karl Lagerfeld, Christopher Kane, Mary Katranzou, Iris Apfel, Stephen Webster, Anna della Russo and Jason Wu have each designed collections for Atelier Swarovski.[8]
 
Penelope Cruz wearing a custom Atelier Versace black gown with Swarovski crystals to the Goya 2017 Awards
Penelope Cruz is the current global brand ambassador for Atelier Swarovski.[26]

Chamilia

Chamilia creates exclusive beads, charms and jewellery, many with sparkling crystal details.

Schonbek
A crystal chandelier manufacturer.
Swareflex
A road safety products specialist.
Swarovski
Crystal-based animal and other figurines, ornaments and fashion accessories.
Swarovski Crystal Palace
Avant-garde lighting and design (chandeliers etc.)
 
IRIS by Fredrikson Stallard for Swarovski Crystal Palace (2011)
Swarovski Gemstone Business
Gemstone designs.
Swarovski Kristallwelten
Museum, Art and Entertainment.
Swarovski Lighting
Finished lighting products and solutions[buzzword] with crystal for architecture.
Swarovski Optik
Optics.
Swarovski Professional
Crystal elements produced by Swarovski
Touchstone Crystal
Swarovski's direct sales company for ready-made jewellery
Tyrolit
A manufacturer of bonded grinding and cut-off wheels.

Active-Crystals

In 2007 Swarovski formed a partnership with electronics giant Philips to produce the "Active-Crystals" consumer electronics range.[27] This includes six USB Memory keys and four in-ear headphones, and in 2008 they included Bluetooth wireless earpieces for the brand, all with some form of Swarovski crystal on them as decoration.

Figurines and collectiblesEdit

Swarovski's figurines are collectible,[1] with a stylised mouse being the very first figurine created. A smaller version of this mouse, now labelled the "replica mouse", is still sold. Swarovski Elements crystals were included in some collectible silver coins issued by the Royal Canadian Mint in 2009.[28]

In November 2014, Victoria's Secret revealed its re-design of the Heavenly Luxe perfume bottle with Swarovski crystals.[29]

Sponsorship and crystal product placementEdit

Swarovski's Communications and Branding Business has successfully placed Swarovski crystal in a number of films, theatre productions and fashion shows over the last hundred years.

FilmsEdit

Swarovski crystal has been featured in the following films:

 
Audrey Hepburn wearing the Swarovski crystal tiara in Breakfast at Tiffany's

All the jewellery from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes starring Marilyn Monroe were Swarovski crystal.[33] Additionally, the tiara worn by Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany's was adorned in Swarovski crystal.[34]

 
Marilyn Monroe wearing Swarovski crystals in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

Theatre productionsEdit

The West End theatre production of Follies featured over 600,000 Swarovski crystals,[2] while the West End musical production of Aladdin used over 2 million Swarovski crystals.[35]

The 2018 production of Dreamgirls incorporated one million Swarovski crystals into the production, adorning 275 costumes and 3 crystal curtains.[36]

Music toursEdit

The American Singer Madonna wore a Swarovski Crystal Dress in her Rebel Heart Tour while performing her song Music.[37]

 
Adriana Lima at Victoria's Secret with Million Dollar Fantasy Bra by Jeweler Damiani

Rihanna also wore an entire Swarovski Crystal Dress in her appearance at the American Grammys.[38]

Michael Jackson's crystal glove, which sold for $192,000 at auction in 2010 was also made of Swarovski crystal.[3]

Fashion showsEdit

Swarovski has worked with Victoria's Secret and their Fashion Show for 15 years.[39] For the 2018 Fashion Show, Victoria Secret model Elsa Hosk wore a Fantasy Bra featuring over one million dollars' worth of Swarovski crystal.[40]

In 2017, Swarovski commissioned a $60,000 Art Deco-styled dress in the style of her famous "nude dress", from Berlin-based fashion tech company ElektroCouture to honor Marlene Dietrich 25 years after her death. It contains 2,000 crystals in addition to 150 LED lights.[41] ElektroCouture owner Lisa Lang said that the dress was inspired by electrical diagrams and correspondence that took place between the actress and fashion designer Jean Louis in 1958. "She wanted a dress that glows, she wanted to be able to control it herself from the stage and she knew she could have died of an electric stroke had it ever been realized." The dress created by Lang's company was featured in French-German broadcaster Arte’s documentary “Das letzte Kleid der Marlene Dietrich” ("The Last Dress of Marlene Dietrich").[42]

Swarovski actively collaborates with high-profile fashion designers for numerous Fashion Weeks taking place around the world. For London Fashion Week in 2018, Swarovski collaborated with the House of Holland, Mary Katrantzou and Richard Quinn.[43] For New York Fashion Week in 2018, Swarovski collaborated with Jason Wu, Alexander Wang, Brandon Maxwell, Gabriela Hearst and Rosie Assoulin.[44]

PartnershipsEdit

Since 2004, Swarovski has provided the 9-foot-diameter (2.7 m), 550-pound (250 kg) star or snowflake that tops the Rockefeller Centre Christmas Tree in New York City.[45] Smaller versions of this are sold as Annual Edition ornaments.

Swarovski are sponsors of the Pakistan Super League from the 2017 season. Swarovski owned the Austrian football club FC Swarovski Tirol from 1986 to 1992.

In 2018, Celebrity Chef Nadiya Hussain, TV personality Katie Piper, and CoppaFeel founder Kris Hallenga, were announced as Swarovski's latest ambassadors, and starred in the brand's ongoing #BrillianceforAll campaign.[46]

In 2019, Swarovski partnered with Dior for its exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum, featuring archival designer pieces emblazoned with Swarovski crystal.[47]

Swarovski annually hosts the Designers of the Future Award in recognition of young and up-and-coming designers.[48] The previous winners of the Swarovski Designers of the Future Award include influential designers and architects: Ross Lovegrove, Greg Lynn, Troika, Fredrikson Stallard, Erwin Redl, Eyal Burstein, Asif Khan, Guilherme Torres, Jeanne Gang and Mexico City-based global architecture and design practice Fernando Romero Enterprise (FR-EE).[49] The 2018 winners were Frank Kolkman, an experimental Dutch designer focused on robotic technologies; Study O Portable, a research based Dutch-Japanese practice making objects about the designed environment, and Yosuke Ushigome of TAKRAM, a creative Japanese technologist specialising in emerging technologies.[48]

GalleryEdit

 
Swarovski signage and logo at its store at Delhi airport

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "http://factsheet.swarovskigroup.com/EN/#page=1". factsheet.swarovskigroup.com. Retrieved 2019-08-07. External link in |title= (help)
  2. ^ "http://factsheet.swarovskigroup.com/EN/#page=1". factsheet.swarovskigroup.com. Retrieved 2019-08-07. External link in |title= (help)
  3. ^ Pederson, Jay. (1988). International directory of company histories, St. James Press, p. 422.
  4. ^ "Kryształy Swarovskiego". Arande (in Polish). Retrieved 2017-06-17.
  5. ^ a b Callan, Georgina O'Hara; Glover, Cat (2008). The Thames & Hudson Dictionary of Fashion and Fashion Designers, Thames & Hudson, p. 248.
  6. ^ a b c d e "Our Company: Our History". Swarovski. Retrieved 7 July 2017.
  7. ^ Campbell, Gordon (2006). The Grove encyclopedia of decorative arts, Volume 2, Oxford University Press US, p. 407.
  8. ^ a b Szmydke, Paulina (28 February 2014). "Viktor & Rolf to Design for Atelier Swarovski". WWD. Retrieved 28 February 2014.
  9. ^ Schreiber, Horst (1994). Wirtschafts- und Sozialgeschichte der Nazizeit in Tirol. Innsbruck: Geschichte und Ökonomie. ISBN 9783901160356.
  10. ^ Szigetvari, András (December 23, 201). "Swarovskis Kampf mit seiner NS-Vergangenheit". DerStandard.at. STANDARD Verlagsgesellschaft m.b.H. Retrieved December 25, 2019.
  11. ^ "Swarovski in der NS-Zeit". erinnern.at. Institute for Holocaust Education of the Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research, Vienna, Austria. Retrieved December 25, 2019.
  12. ^ Schreiber, Horst. "IM EINKLANG MIT DER NSDAP – Das Unternehmen Swarovski in der NS-Zeit" (PDF). erinnern.at. Institute for Holocaust Education of the Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research, Vienna, Austria. Retrieved December 25, 2019.
  13. ^ Zirm, Jakob (January 10, 2011). "NS-Regime: Das reiche Erbe einer dunklen Zeit". DiePresse.com. Die Presse. Retrieved December 25, 2019.
  14. ^ Szigetvari, András (December 23, 2018). "Langes-Swarovski: "Gab Anpassung an die Nationalsozialisten"". DerStandard.at. STANDARD Verlagsgesellschaft m.b.H. Retrieved December 25, 2019.
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  16. ^ Swarovski Crystal Worlds Archived 2009-01-01 at the Wayback Machine. Ninemsn. October 25, 2007.
  17. ^ "How Are Preciosa and Swarovski Crystals Made? | Crystal Parade Blog". www.crystalparade.co.uk. Retrieved 2017-12-06.
  18. ^ Dodds, Jo-Ann (November 20, 2004). "A real gem off the beaten path." Toronto Star.
  19. ^ "Canadian Coins | Circulation, Collecting Coins & Coin Sets | the Royal Canadian Mint".
  20. ^ "2019 12 Coin Zodiac Subscription - Pure Silver Coins made with Swarovski® Crystals - Mintage: 4,000 | the Royal Canadian Mint". 2019. Text "categorypage" ignored (help); Text "2019_12_Coin_Zodiac_Subscription_-_Pure_Silver_Coins_made_with_Swarovski_Crystals_-_Mintage_4000" ignored (help); Text "50_-_100& " ignored (help)
  21. ^ Coincraft catalogue P473 of 2016
  22. ^ "2018 Equatorial Guinea 1 oz Silver Crystal Skull (Vanidad)".
  23. ^ "Free Swarovski Gift - Special Offers ↓". Archived from the original on 2013-12-13.
  24. ^ "Swarovski Crystallized Paris". Marmalade London. Retrieved 2014-07-23.
  25. ^ "London Design Museum's Swarovski Exhibition Features Light Painting, Holograms and Other Mind Blowing Digital Technologies". Retrieved 2019-08-07.
  26. ^ "Penelope Cruz's Atelier Swarovski Jewellery Campaign Is Fire". Us Weekly. 2019-01-30. Retrieved 2019-08-07.
  27. ^ "Swarovski, Philips, unveil 'Active Crystals'." Press Trust of India. September 24, 2007.
  28. ^ Royal Canadian Mint 2009 Holiday Gift Guide.
  29. ^ Victoria's Secret Heavenly Fragrance
  30. ^ Moore, Booth (1 November 2009). "'This Is It' movie showcases Michael Jackson's fashion comeback". LA Times. Retrieved 26 March 2018.
  31. ^ Newbold, Alice. "How Freddie Mercury's Iconic Style Was Reimagined For Bohemian Rhapsody". British Vogue. Retrieved 2019-08-06.
  32. ^ "1M Swarovski crystals light up the musical film ROCKETMAN". www.swarovski-professional.com. Retrieved 2019-08-06.
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  34. ^ Krämer, Peter (2004). "The Many Faces of Holly Golightly: Truman Capote, Breakfast at Tiffany's and Hollywood". Film Studies. 5 (1): 58–65. doi:10.7227/fs.5.5. ISSN 2054-2496.
  35. ^ "Swarovski Group website". Swarovski. Retrieved 07/08/2019. Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  36. ^ Tube, Stage. "VIDEO: Get a Look Behind the Scenes at the Costumes of DREAMGIRLS". BroadwayWorld.com. Retrieved 2019-08-07.
  37. ^ Rogers, Sam. "Madonna's Most Sensational Stage Costumes". British Vogue. Retrieved 2019-08-07.
  38. ^ Feller, Madison (2018-01-29). "Rihanna's Grammy Dress Had 50,000 More Crystals Than Her CFDA Naked Dress". ELLE. Retrieved 2019-08-07.
  39. ^ "See the VS Fashion Show Outfit That Boasts 450,000 Crystals". Us Weekly. Retrieved 2017-06-11.
  40. ^ Nast, Condé. "Here's Every Victoria's Secret Angel Who Has Worn the Fantasy Bra". Glamour. Retrieved 2019-08-07.
  41. ^ Knowles, Kitty (2018-05-01). "ElektroCouture: Inside The Fashion House Behind Swarovski's $60,000 Light-Up Dress". Forbes. Retrieved 2019-01-30.
  42. ^ Tran, Quynh (2017-04-10). "Marlene Dietrich's Fashion Tech Vision". Women's Wear Daily. Retrieved 2019-01-30.
  43. ^ "London Fashion Week - Swarovski". Retrieved 07/08/2019. Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  44. ^ swarovskigroup.com, Swarovski Group-. "NY Fashion Week AW18 - Swarovski Group". www.swarovskigroup.com. Retrieved 2019-08-07.
  45. ^ "Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree: 6 Things You Didn't Know About New York's Most Famous Evergreen". Forbes. 30 November 2016. Retrieved 26 March 2018.
  46. ^ Calder, Emma (15 May 2018). "Swarovski partners with UK personalities to encourage female empowerment". Professional Jeweller. Retrieved 15 May 2018.
  47. ^ Klerk, Amy de (2019-01-31). "All the beautiful gowns you can expect to see at the V&A's Dior exhibition". Harper's BAZAAR. Retrieved 2019-08-06.
  48. ^ a b Magazine, Wallpaper* (2018-04-19). "Designers of the Future award winners announced in Milan". Wallpaper*. Retrieved 2019-08-07.
  49. ^ "Winners of the 2018 Designers of the Future Award". Selections Arts. 2018-04-26. Retrieved 2019-08-07.

External linksEdit