Nadja Swarovski Talks Fragrance, Fashion, And Fabulous Bling

As one of the few people who can actually claim the title of ice queen, Nadja Swarovski takes the moniker seriously. Since taking over as the creative director of her family's crystal empire of the same name, Swarovski has transformed the brand from a maker of crystal figurines your grandma collected, to a forward-thinking player in the fashion world. She's partnered up with some of the most prominent up-and-coming designers, from Alexander McQueen all the way up to Hussein Chalayan.
Not content with conquering the fashion world, Swarovski set her sights on beauty with the new fragrance Aura. First launched in Europe in 2010, the scent — created in collaboration with Clarins — has finally made its way to our shores. Nadja said she wanted to capture the essence of a crystal, and the result is a lychee, rose, tuberose, pink pepper, amber, benzoin, and white musk fragrance that is multi-faceted and downright gorgeous. Here, we sit down with Nadja to talk about what's next for the brand.
What's really interesting about Swarovski is how you really have a commitment to teaming up with new designers and fostering their talent. Is that something we're going to be seeing more of?
"We're a design-driven brand and what we feel at Swarovski is we have the art of crystal making down pat. There's so much expertise and knowledge that goes into that. Perfection, obviously is really a requirement that we really put on ourselves, but what we really rely on is the vision of the designers on how to implement the crystals. We started more than 10 years ago to work with visionaries such as Alexander McQueen, who quite frankly had such a huge impact on our brand and on Swarovski's presence on the catwalk — he reintroduced us because we've been around since 1895 in an unbranded way. So yes, absolutely, increased design presence will be seen."
Who are some new designers we will see you working with in the future?
"Mary Katranzou is a young, emerging, British fashion talent we're currently working with. In terms of fashion designers, we're focusing on emerging talent because we feel it's that group that really needs the financial support and the product support. Plus, whenever crystal is added to a garment, it makes it a bit more glamorous. That glamour is what really gets the press attention, which a young designer needs. We're also sponsoring the CFDA Awards again. This is our 11th time and it'll be their 50th Anniversary. Those kinds of collaborations are really important for us because we realized that by supporting the industry, we add so much value. It's also just a really good way to stay in very close touch with amazing talent."
Any other cool partnerships we can look forward to seeing the Swarovski name on?
"We just launched a line with Eric Daman, the stylist for Gossip Girl. I think he's just doing such an amazing job and he's had such a huge impact on styling."
So can we expect to see more from Swarovski in the beauty world? Perhaps cosmetics are in the works?
"For sure. And I know that Clarins is also working with an amazing professor called Andrew Parker from the Natural History Museum who has actually developed the technology of creating color based on the structure of an object versus the actual pigment. And we are working with the same professor on our crystals. We're moving to exploring color because it would just be a natural extension of what we're doing, but we'll just have to see how everything plays out."
Photo: David X Prutting/

More from Beauty


R29 Original Series