NEW DELHI — In a unique launch for the Indian market, Swarovski Professional has launched 80 styles designed by some of the best-known fashion designers in India.
These are to be followed by another 80 stockkeeping units in November, said Vivek Ramabhadran, managing director of Swarovski Professional.
Launching just before the festive season begins in October, the Austrian brand has brought in Indian fashion designers Suneet Varma, Rohit Bal, JJ Valaya, Manish Arora and Gaurav Gupta, among others.
The collection, called Confluence, is priced between 4,000 rupees, or $60.05, and 15,000 rupees, or $225.50 at current exchange.
“This is quite different from our usual operating model,” Ramabhadran said. “Normally, we work closely with designers, we inspire. But in this venture it is completely different, working with manufacturers to get it made, to take it forward in terms of distribution with an assortment of retailers and wholesale agents. We’re very closely linked to fashion and jewelry, but this is by far the most intensive involvement across the value chain. This is a completely new vertical.”
He said that harnessing the creativity within the country made the collection more exciting. “Over the years we have established a close working relationship with these designers. This launch brings out the vibrancy, color, craft and workmanship bringing alive the signature and vision of each designer. It is by far the most intensive involvement we have had across the value chain,” he said
Each jewelry piece can be identified with a holographic Swarovski tag, which authenticates the use of genuine Swarovski crystals. Each tag has a unique 16-digit code that can be checked on swarovski.com.
Designers who are working on the project said it also gives reach to a larger customer base at a much lower price — for example, a normal JJ Valaya design would cost 300,000 rupees, or $4,500, while the Swarovski version starts at 8,000 rupees, or $1,200.
Gems and jewelry are estimated to be a $42 billion market in India, growing at 16 percent each year.
Swarovski Professional grew 18 to 20 percent in 2015 in India, which is one of the brand’s fastest growing markets. The company is slated to grow about 15 percent this year.
This isn’t the first time Swarovski has done something special for the Indian market. In May 2015, the consumer division of Swarovski launched a 60-sku range inspired by Indian patterns, including filigree work. The collection was launched in Swarovski’s stand-alone stores and also shops-in-shops in department stores.