The company has recruited 14 sports and leisure brands to launch crystal-embellished ath-leisure that will be sold in select stores next month. To show off the crystal-encrusted apparel and accessories, video choreographer Normann Shay shot a dance-off with some very nimble dancers. Fashion editor and stylist Giovanna Battaglia Engelbert provided the creative direction.
The fast-moving, toe-tapping diverse performers hail from the X-Factory school and the Chicago Multi-Cultural Dance Center — two facilities that have benefited from donations from Swarovski. Their dance skills, hip-hop moves and classical pointe training are meant to inspire others to get moving and embrace an active lifestyle. Viewers are also meant to take into account the benefits of “a dynamic, expressive, inclusive community. This is the era of comfortable and socially progressive glamour: we demand to be free, to be active, to be part of a diverse community — and all while looking fabulous,” according to Swarovski’s press material for the #athleisurebeats initiative.
The #athleisurebeats project is a design collaboration with Caraa Sport, Juicy Couture, Ultracor, Kappa, No Ka’Oi, Roxy, Victoria Sport, Pretty Ballerinas, Munich, Marc Cain Sports, Mizuno, Holster, Mariam Seddiq and Prsr. Their crystal-accented creations include sneakers, eyewear, cropped tops, sweat tops, tracksuits, jumpsuits, jackets, shirts, shorts and more.
Shoppers will find the Swarovski ath-leisure spring collection starting Feb. 19.
Shay has worked with Madonna and a range of commercial clients including Coach, Michael Kors, Philipp Plein, Balmain x H&M and Victoria’s Secret Pink. He said he had his own help in becoming the dancer he is today, singling out “Yugson,” the leader of the hip hop/breakdance crew Wanted Posse.
The dancers in the Swarovski initiative got an unexpected look at Shay’s agility, when they were asked to freestyle for a behind-the-scenes shot. Shay said he persuaded Engelbert “to do a few cool steps” and then he just felt the good energy and started jamming like crazy. “Usually, I just give the instructions and the dancers never really see me dancing. I could see by their faces that they were blown away and happy to finally see me dance.” Shay said. “It’s all about feeling good and doing what you do with the people you do it with.”
Swarovski, meanwhile, has a reputation for being inventive about raising its profile. In an interview on the fringes of the current World Economic Forum in Davos, Nadja Swarovski reportedly said an initial public offering would further the company’s expansion as it builds in North America and digital sales, but no such move is on the table right now.