Spotlight on Swarovski, Underwriting Sponsor of the CFDA Fashion Awards

CFDA FASHION AWARDS Underwriting Sponsor
2001 – 2011

Is there anyone out there who does not know the amazing progression of Swarovski? How it was a technologically advanced, yet still sleepy European-based company, known to most Americans as the maker of little crystal animals? How all that changed when Nadja Swarovski and her family peers came of age and saw the potential for branded crystals in the fashion world?

Swarovski’s involvement with the Council of Fashion Designers of America has been a smashing success since it started 10 years ago. First as the co-sponsor of the young designers’ awards and then as sole sponsor of the young designers’ awards and underwriter of the total Fashion Awards presentation, this company has shown its devotion and commitment to keeping the American fashion industry sparkling.

“It’s important for Swarovski to give back to the community,” Nadja Swarovski shared. “We’re happy to. I can’t believe it’s been 10 years — it feels like two years. Working with Stan Herman and then Diane, we’ve had a great relationship.”

But it’s working with, and seeing the progression of the Swarovski Award winners that gets Nadja most excited.

“It’s always very festive and to anticipate the designers’ excitement. It’s wonderful to see the victory. The award does have a powerful impact on these designers,” she said. “It’s been fantastic to watch the careers of designers like Proenza Schouler and Rodarte moving up [from being Swarovski winners] to winning in the actual category.”

And though there have always been rumors of a going-out-of-business curse that accompanies a young designer award, Swarovski seems to have negated that.
“I had no idea about the curse,” Nadja laughed. “Hopefully we are adding sparkle and good luck to the designers. I hope we’re a positive association for the young designers.”

We couldn’t agree more.

Five Questions for Nadja Swarovski

What career did you want when you were 16? If you weren’t a designer, what would you be?
“At 16, I was discovering my love for art history. I eventually loved archeology and wanted to be an archeologist.”

Who is your fashion idol? Whose work do you admire?

“Alexander McQueen. He was able to extend couture yet modernize it in a unique style. His symbolic and cultural references made art using fabric, versus fashion.”

Who is your biggest fan?
“I think my biggest fans are my children. I feel very honored to have a fan club at home. They jump on me when I walk in the door. “

When you get dressed, do you choose clothes to match your accessories or accessories to match your clothes?
“When I get dressed, I match my accessories to my clothes. It’s the dot on the I — the icing on the cake.”

If you were getting the CFDA Lifetime Achievement Award, whom would you choose as your presenter?
“Eleanor Lambert, but if I have to choose someone living, Diane von Furstenberg. She is the fairy godmother to the fashion community. It would be an amazing honor to get an award from someone like her.“