Starting with Imitation of Christ’s presentation on Sunday, the Austrian cut-crystal manufacturer is bringing its global designer sponsorship program to New York in collaboration with three designers.
The firm has a long history working with designers, including couturiers such as Coco Chanel and Cristobal Balenciaga, throughout the last century. As fashions changed over the years, with the rise of less glitzy sportswear, its contributions ebbed somewhat.
Since Nadja Swarovski, the jet-setting heir to the crystals-for-everyone institution, became more active in the family firm in the Nineties, she has focused on strengthening the fashion ties by collaborating with young, up-and-coming designers through such sponsorships.
“Younger designers are often in financial need, so we bring the product to them and hope that they will later use it,” said Swarovski, who is vice president of the firm. “We enter the relationship on a mutually beneficial level. The association with young designers is exposure to people we may not otherwise get.”
The company also is sponsoring London-based skin jewelry designer J. Maskrey, who is making her New York debut on Monday, and Jeremy Scott, who is also a newcomer to the New York show schedule next Friday.
Swarovski contributed transfer crystals, which can be ironed onto the fabric for a crystal pattern.
Designers generally remain tight-lipped about their looks until the show, but a company spokeswoman for the crystal manufacturer said Scott is expected to use the crystals for five looks in a tribute to New York architecture. The crystals are to reflect and refract light to add an architectural dimension to the pieces.
Although Swarovski didn’t know how many crystals went out to the three designers, she estimated the total number to be around 100,000 for fall collections worldwide.