LONDON — After making its mark in fashion and jewelry, Austrian crystal giant Swarovski is moving into designer chandeliers.
The company has set up a new Crystal Palace division that will wholesale chandeliers by artists, designers and architects including Zaha Hadid, Amanda Levete, the Campana Brothers, Ross Lovegrove, Tom Dixon and Ron Arad.
Andrew Black, who was recently appointed publishing director of Wallpaper magazine, has been named managing director of the new company, known as Swarovski Crystal Palace.
"We're applying the same equation we used with designers like Alexander McQueen to the architecture and design arena," said Nadja Swarovski, vice president of international communications at the crystal company. "For us, these chandeliers are all about design."
Over the past decade, Swarovski has been developing crystals for fashion designers, sponsoring shows and supporting young runway talent.
In 2002, the company began turning its eye to the design world, commissioning one-off and limited edition chandeliers from top artists and architects for a project known as Swarovski Crystal Palace.
Until now, the chandeliers have been selling, but only through Swarovski and a handful of stores, including Moss in New York and California, and Luminaire in Florida and Chicago. Swarovski said by next year, she plans to have at least 10 retailers in Europe, North America and Asia on board. Stores such as Selfridges will likely sell the line.
Prices will range from $3,000 for a Tord Boontje Mini Blossom chandelier to $1 million for a one-of-a-kind piece by Gaetano Pesce, the Italian artist, designer and architect.
The Crystal Palace offices are based in London, and Swarovski said there will eventually be headquarters in New York and Hong Kong or Shanghai as well.
Black said he would be recruiting worldwide for sourcing, manufacturing, marketing and communications teams.
"We're starting a business from the ground up, with the aim of offering these chandeliers to a wider market," said Black, who starts work in the fall.
Black worked at Wallpaper for three years and was previously senior vice president of the ad agency Laird + Partners in New York, heading up accounts including Gap and Donna Karan. He has worked for Donna Karan, Bergdorf Goodman and Saks Fifth Avenue in advertising and marketing capacities.
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