NEW YORK — Swarovski is building on its rich history working with fashion designers by becoming the sole underwriter for Monday night’s Council of Fashion Designers of America’s American Fashion Awards gala.
This story first appeared in the May 30, 2002 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
“As an Austrian company, we wanted to show support for the U.S. and for New York,” said Kim Krikorian, Swarovski’s marketing manager for the Americas. “We also want to thank the designers that have made us part of American fashion. We applaud the CFDA for remaining true to the mission of fashion as an art form.”
While the award show will be less elaborate than in previous years, Swarovski plans to keep things lively by providing thousands of crystals on everything from the room decor to table settings. The company is working with party and wedding planner Colin Cowie to design the event. Some of the crystal stones used will be ones that were specially designed for Christian Dior, with whom Swarovski began collaborating in the Fifties.
The CFDA sponsorship is the latest of a number of steps the Swarovski firm has taken recently to boost its profile. Earlier this year, Swarovski opened its first New York store on Madison Avenue featuring a range of its branded jewelry and home products. In addition to providing cut crystal to apparel and home designers, the firm also makes crystal home objects and finished jewelry, and operates creative service centers in key cities around the world where designers can experiment with its products. It has been steadily opening company-owned stores, with 39 now in the U.S.
While Swarovski has long sponsored and worked with international designers, it is making a concerted effort to tap into the American scene. For the last five years, the firm has sponsored designers — such as Narciso Rodriguez, Chaiken, Jeremy Scott and Imitation of Christ — showing at 7th on Sixth and other locales during New York Fashion Week.