Swarovski board chair says British design schools are world leaders.

Nadja Swarovski dubbed the UK a role model for the creative industries this week, describing its melting pot of cultures and history as inspiring designers across the world.

Swarovski, a member of the Swarovski Executive Board and chair of the Swarovski Foundation’s board of directors, spoke at a UK Fashion and Textile Association (UKFT) event at RBS in central London on Tuesday, in conversation with fashion journalist Hilary Alexander.


The conversation covered a range of topics, including the brand’s initiation into the world of fashion, its support of emerging UK designers and its work with the film industry.

While focusing on fashion and jewellery design, Nadja Swarovski said that London had become an important location for the brand, describing it as the "centre of the world". She said the city’s influx of different cultures, its open mindedness and therefore experimentation with design made it a leading influencer on global jewellery and fashion design.

She said: “It is important to be in London. The UK is refreshing in terms of creativity, royal history, trade, influx of new generations and design schools.”

Swarovski went on to say that when it comes to fashion education, those wanting to pursue a career in the industry would find the design schools in London unbeatable.

During the conversation, Nadja Swarovski hinted that the brand would produce a jewellery collection for the next James Bond movie, following the successful partnership with Stephen Webster for 2012’s Skyfall, which sold out within three days worldwide.

She also touched on issues of counterfeiting, describing the high level of counterfeit Swarovski goods being produced in China, complete with exact replicas of the brand’s signature blue packaging, as well as company’s using the Swarovski name on their product lines, in cases where a few Swarovski crystals are dotted among Chinese and Czech crystal.

"We have created an ingredient Swarovski brand tag that only special customers can use; we are strict on quality control, so no crystals leave us with scratches or bubbles," she added. "Sometimes, though, it is better to look ahead in terms of product and protection rather than focusing too much on what others have done."

Over the years Swarovski has collaborated with a number of leading British fashion designers, including Alexander McQueen, Julien Macdonald and Philip Treacy.

UKFT chief executive John Miln said of the evening: “It was fantastic to hear about both the legacy and future ambitions of Swarovski from Nadja, who has helped drive the brand to great achievements in recent years.

"Hilary is an incredible journalist and drove the conversation in an engaging manner. I am sure I can speak on behalf of everyone in the room when I left feeling truly inspired by Nadja and Swarovski’s achievements.”