These days, a piece of jewellery is not just a fashion accessory. It means so much more to women – an expression of identity, a confidence booster or even a symbol of sentiment and memory.
As Swarovski’s creative director Nathalie Colin puts it: “I wear jewellery that makes me feel more powerful or confident. I like to feel the ‘weight’ of jewellery on myself. That they have a presence.”
According to Colin, each specific piece of jewellery she chooses must say something about her. It has to have a symbolic meaning. There is not a single one she wears that comes off as “neutral”.
“The way I design is the same. It has to feel personal. I want to offer women the option to pick and choose what suits their personality best,” she states, regarding her work for Swarovski.
Colin, who was in Kuala Lumpur recently, points out that millenials often have their own personal point of view. They are distinct in the way they dress, and like making their own decisions when it comes to fashion.
“Of course, they do want to understand about trends. But they want to have their own say on how they can adopt them. They don’t want to be forced. But instead, they need to have freedom.”
She goes on to explain that the Swarovski’s brand heritage is all about the material. The beautiful faceted crystal is the signature of the brand, – that and the craftsmanship of making it so brilliant.
Yet, jewellery designing in these modern times is not straightforward. Millenials apparently need to relate to a brand in a lot of ways that are not to do with mere aesthetic.
“It is something that Swarovski has been working on for years. For example, we’ve worked to communicate on subjects like sustainability or women empowerment,” Colin states.
“These are the things that matter to the younger generation. They care about about such issues and they have asked us about them. It’s very important that as a brand you are relatable to your consumers.”
Regarding the Autumn/Winter 2018 couture pieces from Swarovski, Colin says that they are inspired by fairytales. There is a feeling of enchantment when it comes to the different designs.
“The pieces portray our inspiration. We don’t sell them. Only maybe to be worn by select celebrities. The purpose is to showcase the beauty that the brand has come up for the season.”
What is available to customers however, is the Crystal Tales collection. It draws from a world of magic with dreamy designs, and aims to provide an escape from everyday life.
“If we can create some excitement in the design, something new for instance, then when it hits the store, it will be exciting. If we are bored, then consumers will be bored,” Colin notes.
She also thinks that the current jewellery trends are very much mutable. They are dictated by the various different ways people are able to wear or are wearing jewellery.
“The same necklace can be worn in a very street style way with sneakers, oversized jeans and a T-shirt. But it can also be worn with an evening dress and it will be totally different.”
While it is still up to a brand to interpret trends, Colin says that jewellery in general are timeless fashion accessories. More so, when it comes to a special piece you treasure.
“My first Swarovski piece was a necklace from the 1950s with Swarovski beads. It was not from Swarovski but with Swarovski crystals. It was in turquoise and I really love it. I found it in a vintage store,” she concludes.