Nadja Swarovski‘s Biography
Nadja Swarovski is a Member of the Swarovski Executive Board, the world’s leading crystal manufacturer founded by her great-great-grandfather Daniel Swarovski in 1895 in Austria. As a global patron of design for the company, Nadja is committed to building ongoing relationships in the fashion, jewellery, architecture, design, film and art industries and commissioning innovative products celebrating crystal, while continually positioning Swarovski at the forefront of design and consumer trends.
Born in Germany, Nadja is an Austrian citizen educated in Europe and the US. Obtaining degrees in Art History, Foreign Languages and Latin American studies from the Southern Methodist University in Dallas in 1992, she completed a graduate course in Fine and Decorative Arts at Sotheby’s in New York, and in Gemology at the Gemological Institute of America in New York. She is currently based in London.
Nadja’s career began with Larry Gagosian, the New York gallerist, followed by a time at Eleanor Lambert, the legendary New York fashion publicist. Nadja joined the family business in 1995, working for Swarovski in Hong Kong and travelling extensively in Asia on behalf of the company to gain an international perspective before returning to New York.
Early in her career Nadja befriended fashion icon Isabella Blow, who supported her vision of looking at Swarovski’s heritage and bringing this to the forefront of the brand’s contemporary image. Nadja also aimed to re-establish Swarovski’s legacy of collaborating with the leading couturiers of Paris. Blow introduced her to young design talents who became long-time Swarovski collaborators, such as Alexander McQueen and Phillip Treacy. Since these early years in the family business, Nadja has implemented a series of groundbreaking initiatives including The Swarovski Collective conceived in 1999 and Runway Rocks in 2003 that reinforce Swarovski’s commitment to support and celebrate both established and emerging designers in fashion and jewellery, including Hussein Chalayan, GILES, Rodarte, Erdem, Alexander Wang, Marios Schwab, Jason Wu, Mary Katrantzou, and Stephen Webster.
In 2002 Nadja developed Swarovski Crystal Palace, a visionary design project which pushes the boundaries of lighting and design through creative collaborations with designers using the medium of crystal. The result is a spectacular body of work which provides a snapshot of the most exciting and creative minds of the first decade of the 21st century and includes work by Ron Arad, Zaha Hadid, Tom Dixon, Ross Lovegrove, Tokujin Yoshioka, Tord Boontje, Arik Levy, Yves Béhar and Gaetano Pesce.
Nadja is Chairperson of Swarovski Entertainment Ltd, a division that invests in the production of movies. Swarovski Entertainment was formed to produce theatrical, story- and director-driven feature films with equal focus on entertainment, originality, style and substance. This was a natural progression as Nadja reinvigorated the collaboration between Swarovski and the movie industry, through creative partnerships with costume and set designers. Swarovski crystals have been featured in movies including The Young Victoria; Black Swan and Skyfall. The division’s first feature film, Romeo and Juliet, written by Julian Fellowes and starring Douglas Booth and Haillee Steinfeld as the star-crossed lovers, is due for release in Fall 2013. Nadja has also introduced Swarovski crystals to the music industry, adorning costumes of performers such as Michael Jackson, Tina Turner, Kylie Minogue, Beyoncé, Madonna and Lady Gaga.
In 2007 Nadja launched Atelier Swarovski, an innovative and highly desirable jewellery business which collaborates with high-profile and cutting-edge designers including Zaha Hadid, Christopher Kane, Giles Deacon, Viktor & Rolf, Jonathan Saunders and Karl Lagerfeld. Atelier Swarovski is sold in high end boutiques & Swarovski stores in the major fashion capitals of the world.
Since 2012 Nadja has overseen Swarovski’s Global Corporate Responsibility efforts. Consolidating Swarovski’s long-term commitment to philanthropy, the Swarovski Foundation was introduced in 2013. Its mission is to support charitable initiatives and organizations working in three areas. Fostering Creativity and Culture supporting the arts, education, cultural institutions and innovative projects; Promoting Wellbeing and Human Rights, championing women empowerment initiatives, health and education and the advancement and development of young people and communities; and Conserving Natural Resources through environmental projects for the conservation, protection and improvement of the physical and natural environment.