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Nadja Swarovski—the great-great-grandaughter of Swarovski‘s founder, Daniel Swarovski—joined the company 100 years after its founding in 1895. Since she began with the company in 1995, much has changed. She has steered the company far away from the association of “bling” and has restored the Austrian crystal company’s fashion and design presence. Back when Swarovski was run by her great-great-grandfather, the crystals adorned Queen Victoria‘s dresses, and later went on to partner with fashion labels such as Coco Chanel and Christian Dior. They were identified alongside luxury, and were treated as a company of great importance.
Today, after a young adulthood studying at Sotheby’s Institute of Art and the Gemology Institute of America, and after working for companies like the Gagosian Gallery and fashion PR firm Eleanor Lambert, Nadja has finally focused on her family’s tradition. Recent partnerships have allowed her to adorn the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree, and sparkle the outfits of the angels in the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show.
Now, with over 2,560 stores worldwide, Swarovski’s return to those family roots has led Nadja to also partner with artists, architects, and designers, including the most recent with Fernando Romero Enterprise (FR-EE)—a Design Miami/ collaboration at Art Basel Miami Beach.
For the brand’s 10th year of partnering with the design fair, Swarovski commissioned FR-EE, the Mexico City-based global architecture and design practice, to create an installation that explores humankind’s relationship with the sun. The collaboration with Romero, and his work El Sol, consisted of adorning his installation—a vast geodesic structure, designed to scale, one billion times smaller than the sun, composed of 2,880 custom-made, precision-cut austrian crystals.
Romero found inspiration for this design in the geometry used by the ancient Aztecs and Mayans in constructing their pyramids, which were built as a means to monitor celestial events. This endeavor pays homage to this legacy, while also employing modern technologies in creating the structure, which required over 350 hours of engineering work, and three months of design, technical development, and final touches at Swarovski’s headquarters in Wattens, Austria.
On Thursday night in Miami, a sit-down dinner celebrating this partnership was held at Soho Beach House Penthouse on Collins Avenue, and guests like Alex Merrell, Alex Mustonen, Craig and Jackie Robins, Dayassi Olarte de Kavanos, Deyan Sudjic, Erica Pelosini, Eva Franch, Juan Carlos Arcila-Duque, Gigi Mortimer, Matthu Placek, Sabrina Buell, Sarah Arison, Stefano Tonchi, Tony Chambers, Spencer Bailey and Yves Béhar were in attendance. Music by DJ Alex Merrell played, and guests enjoyed the laid-back, sophisticated atmosphere of the luxe quarters. A long, elegant table topped with rose arrangements welcomed us, and hors d’oeuvres, cocktails, and great conversations swarmed around the night’s main focus of El Sol.
After a night like that, it may be applicable to use the ancient term and say that now, Swarovski is “the empire on which the sun never sets.”