Swarovski

Swarovski is the world's leading brand of cut crystal.

Categories

Retail and Consumer Goods  
Summary

Swarovski creates beautiful crystal-based products of impeccable quality and craftsmanship that bring joy and celebrate individuality. Founded in 1895 in Austria, the company designs, manufactures and sells the world's finest crystal, gemstones, Swarovski Created Diamonds and zirconia, jewellery and fashion accessories, as well as crystal objects and home accessories. 

Swarovski Crystal Business has a global reach with approximately 2,400 stores and 6,700 points of sales in around a hundred and forty countries. A responsible relationship with people and the planet is part of Swarovski’s heritage. Today this legacy is rooted in sustainability measures across the value chain with an emphasis on circular innovation, championing diversity, inclusion and self-expression and in the philanthropic work of the Swarovski Foundation which supports charitable organizations.


History

Skilled in the art of glass-cutting, Daniel Swarovski apprenticed as a metalsmith in his father's modest glass factory in Bohemia, now part of the Czech Republic. In 1883 he attended the International Electrical Exhibition in Vienna where inventions by trailblazers Edison and Siemens inspired him to harness hydro-electricity from the Inn river for the grinding processes. In 1891 Swarovski patented a machine which could cut crystal with more precision than by hand. In three years Daniel Swarovski, with partners Armand Kosmann and Franz Weis, established a crystal-cutting factory in Wattens, Tyrol, Austria. It was named Swarovski.

With a vision to make "a diamond for everyone" by making crystals affordable, in 1899 the brand used the Edelweiss flower in its logo and expanded to France where it was acclaimed as Pierres Taillées du Tyrol or "cut stones from Tyrol". In 1910-1913, Swarovski built its own glassworks factory. However during WWI, production ceased and when it resumed, the company manufactured grinding disks which were in short supply due to the war. Till date Tyrolit Group is one of the leading suppliers of grinding, drilling and polishing tools.

The post- war 'Golden Twenties' witnessed Swarovski crystals in demand; it was seen in Parisian ateliers and an inspiration to iconic designer, Coco Chanel. In 1931, Swarovski created a crystal embellished band in collaboration with key couturiers. This was developed to accentuate short hairstyles of the era and considered the first 'trend driven innovation' by Swarovski. Later, the brand designed accessories collections in collaboration with designers Jean-Paul Gaultier, Mary Katrantzou, Christopher Kane and Hubert de Givenchy.

During the Great Depression and WWII the factory shut down intermittently. A huge setback for the brand. In 1949, Swarovski Optik was created, which includes binoculars, telescopes and other precision optics. During the Fifties, crystal was a hit in Hollywood and haute couture. In 1956, Swarovski collaborated with Christian Dior, creating a crystal coating that allowed light to refract from crystals in every color of the rainbow. However, it became a rage worldwide when Marilyn Monroe in 'Gentlemen Prefer Blondes', sang 'Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend', sheathed in Swarovski.

Daniel Swarovski passed away on January 23, 1956. Within a few years, his three sons Alfred, Wilhelm and Fritz too passed away and the company was helmed by Daniel Swarovski II and Manfred Swarovski. In another milestone moment, Marilyn Monroe sang Happy Birthday to President John F. Kennedy in 1962 in a sheer chiffon dress sheathed with 2,500 Swarovski crystals. In 1966, Swarovski created its iconic 'Sputnik' design for the opening of New York Metropolitan Opera House. 

Crystal figurines were created as souvenirs for XXII Olympic Winter Games in Innsbruck which eventually led to the creation of the Swarovski Crystal Society. Two years later, the logo changed from the Edelweiss to the swan. After almost a hundred years of existence, Swarovski debuted its jewelry line and opened its first boutique in Bond Street, London. The brand continued its legacy of innovation by developing a bespoke crystal mesh fabric. Vivienne Westwood was the first to use it followed by Alexander McQueen.

On the brand’s 100th anniversary, it opened Swarovski Crystal Worlds as a sparkling shopping experience designed by multi-media artist André Heller. It is one of Austria's leading tourist attractions till date. In 2002, Nadja Swarovski created Swarovski Crystal Palace in collaboration with designers. The following year witnessed Swarovski Crystal Rocks, the first crystal fabric using Hot-Fix technique, which can be ironed, stapled and glued to other materials. A celebrity favourite, Madonna appeared in designs by Arianne Phillips, embellished with thousands of Swarovski crystals. 

In 2006 Crystallised Swarovski Elements was introduced and Signity was created for Swarovski's semi-precious products. In 2009 Swarovski Crystal Watches was launched and the following year, Swarovski created a curtain for the Oscars, handmade with 100,000 crystals. In 2013, The Swarovski Foundation was established to foster creativity and protect the environment. In 2017 Penelope Cruz becomes world ambassador of Swarovski and in 2018 Swarovski crystals embellished the Fantasy bra at the Victoria Secret show, worth over a million dollars.

Swarovski is now helmed by the fifth generation with CEO Robert Buchbauer, Nadja Swarovski and Mathias Margreiter on the Executive Board astride Creative Director Giovanna Battaglia Engelbert. "I have already been committed to the creative direction of Swarovski’s B2B division since 2016 and was focusing on the areas of ingredient branding, design, and content curation then,” Battaglia Engelbert told Vogue. “My new role is a natural evolution and now covers all creative aspects of Swarovski as a whole.”

"The company is currently being realigned along one common vision, one strategy and one organization. With a turnover of 2.7 billion euros and 29,000 employees worldwide, Swarovski is the world’s leading crystal and jewelry manufacturer," states a communiqué.


Mission

To create perfection, by cutting and polishing the gemstones meticulously, in order to emphasize the natural light and sparkle in the stones.


Vision

To make diamonds for everyone by making stones affordable!


Key Team

Robert Buchbauer (CEO)

Nadja Swarovski (Chair of Swarovski Foundation)

Giovanna Battaglia Engelbert (Creative Director)

Mathias Margreiter (Executive Board Member)


Products and Services

The company designs, manufactures and sells the world's finest crystal, gemstones, Swarovski Created Diamonds and zirconia, jewellery and fashion accessories as well as crystal objects and home accessories. 


References
Swarovski
Leadership team

Robert Buchbauer (CEO)

Nadja Swarovski (Chair of Swarovski Foundation)

Giovanna Battaglia Engelbert (Creative Director)

Mathias Margreiter (Executive Board Member)

Industries

Retail and Consumer Goods

Products/ Services
Crystals, gemstones, created stones, accessories and lighting
Headquarters
Swarovski Kristallwelten, Kristallweltenstraße 1, 6112 Wattens/Tirol, Austria
Company Registration
4570427
Social Media

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Mon Feb 26 2024
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