Swarovski takes over Harrods with pop-up and brand collaborations.
Swarovski creative director Nadja Swarovski is feeling festive this year, and to create her perfect Christmas promotion she has teamed up with more than 70 other brands as she takes over Harrods in London for a quite literally dazzling residence. She speaks to Rachael Taylor of her plans to enchant 1.4 million shoppers in just a few weeks.
When it comes to pan-industry collaboations, Swarovski is king. The company has built up a hugely successful business that creates crystals for everything from chandeliers and its famous animal figurines to dresses and jewellery, and this Christmas it is celebrating the diversity of the company with a special collaborative project based at Harrods.
This very special Christmas project has led Swarovski to cover Harrods in its famous crystals, blanketing every aspect of the store from window displays and the London department store’s iconic green shopper bags to the installation of some very special projects.
Swarovski has taken over the windows at Harrods and decorated the with a Crystal Forest theme, along the lines of the design theme it uses at its concept boutiques. Once inside the store, the Swarovski effect hits full force with a Swarovski Christmas Boutique on the ground floor. Travelling through the store, the Swarovski festive dominance continues with each of the store’s seven floors boasting an individual Crystal Christmas area.
In the jewellery department Sawovski will use the Crystal Christmas promotion to show off its Atelier Swarovski collection designed by Rodrigo Otazu, a collection of Swarovski crystal-studded silver jewels, plated in either gold or palladium, inspired by architecture.
But the collaborations stretch far beyond the world of jewellery, running into 70 individual collaborations with other brands covering a vast array of product areas. Highlights include a fringed Agent Provocateur playsuit embellished with gold Dorado Swarovski crystals retailing at £15,000, Kurt Geiger suede and Swarovski crystal killer heels at £595 and a box of Charbonnel & Bonner truffles with Swarovski crystal detailing on the box.
Read on to find out what Swarovski creative director and Professional Jeweller Hot 100 CMJ Business Big Shot Nadja Swarovski’s favourite product collaboration is and to hear more from the crystal brand’s visionary about this very special project.
PJ: Why did you choose to partner with Harrods on such an extensive project – what is it about the store that made it the right partner?
NS: Harrods is an amazing shopping maison and we feel honoured to be a part of it during the Christmas period when footfall is at its highest. Over 1.4 million people will visit Harrods in November and December so it is a fantastic time to showcase the world of Swarovski. We’re also excited to launch our very first Swarovski pop-up shop within the iconic department store’s famed windows, which will be up until December 24. The incredible Mark Briggs at Harrods created 24 windows of magic containing millions of Swarovski crystals.
PJ: How important to you was it to include a wide variety of product sectors when working on collaborations?
NS: Swarovski works with many well-known and well-respected brands and a Crystal Christmas at Harrods was the perfect fit to highlight over 70 brand partnerships within the various product sectors. If you walk around Harrods, there are products adorned with Swarovski in multiple departments, from beauty and fashion to lighting, and each brand or designer has interpreted the use of our crystals in their own individual way.
PJ: Is there any one aspect of the project that excites you more than the others?
NS: One of the pieces in the window is a dress designed by Ralph & Russo which contains 152,000 Swarovski Elements and retails for £230,000. It’s an amazing work of craftsmanship and creativity and we’re so proud of it.
PJ: Tell us more about decorating the famous Harrods green shopper bag.
NS: For this special holiday season, two amazing designers Erdem and Marios Schwab have transformed the iconic Harrods green tote bag in their own individual styles. We work very closely with both of these designers on their fashion collections as well. The bags will be available through silent auction located in the international designer room four on the first floor, so please bid as all proceeds will go to Macmillan Cancer Support. We’re very happy to be able to give back to society and give to the charity – to really leverage the corporate and commercial muscle to make a positive difference.
PJ: Can you tell us a bit more about the jewellery aspect of the project?
NS: We’re delighted to have our Atelier Swarovski collection by Rodrigo Otazu sold at the Swarovski pop-up shop. It’s a very modern, cutting edge collection and as very typical for Atelier Swarovski, we believe very much in celebrating the designer. We feel that it is important for the customer to know who the creator is behind the work of art that they purchase.