Swarovski has long offered high-fashion jewelry looks in its costume collections, but the crystal maker stunned recently when it announced plans to make fine jewelry in silver and 14k gold.
Susan Popper, head of fine jewelry for Swarovski’s North America’s consumer goods business, dished to JCK on plans to debut 85 SKUs, with petal and wave themes to serve as design anchors of the collection, which will sell initially in the U.S. and Canada. (A third design aesthetic exists in a geometric and abstract interpretation of nature dubbed Gossamer.)
Swarovski declined to state a line buy-in or a number of retail doors that have already committed to purchases, but maintains that several top boutiques in key markets have been secured. (JCK Las Vegas will serve as the collection’s true launch point.) Retail prices range from $125 to $1,450 in sterling silver and 14k gold. Here are five more insights from the brand on its new fine line.
JCK: Why is Swarovski debuting a fine jewelry collection now?
Susan Popper: Swarovski consumers have asked for fine jewelry. They love our fashion offerings and want to be able to purchase fine from our brand as well. This collection is a natural extension of Swarovski’s jewelry expertise and credibility as a jeweler.
JCK: With such a crowded jewelry landscape—there are thousands of jewelry-makers in the U.S.—how will Swarovski’s merchandise stand out?
Popper: There are very few jewelry brands that have the global brand awareness necessary to stand out to consumers. Swarovski fashion jewelry is currently sold in 170 countries, and North America is one of the biggest markets. We have an active consumer base currently unable to purchase their fine jewelry from us—it’s pent-up demand. Based on consumer research, we know our consumers actively shop for their fine jewelry in multi-brand versus mono-brand stores. This combination of awareness and an existing fan base give us a significant advantage in this jewelry landscape.
JCK: The design of Swarovski’s costume jewelry is refreshing—so modern and innovative! Will the brand apply this same aesthetic to the fine collection, including collaborating with outside artists for designs?
Popper: The fine jewelry designs are managed by our creative team in Paris, so you can expect to see the same modernity and innovation as in our fashion offerings, translated to the materials and expression of fine jewelry. Our design team has embraced this exciting opportunity to show the richness of our design DNA across jewelry segments.
JCK: What is the unifying design element in the initial three design families, Swarovski Petal, Eternal Wave, and Gossamer?
Popper: Water and nature, founding elements of the Swarovski brand in 1895, serve as the muses for all the design families. Alpine water was originally used to power the crystal-cutting technology in the Wattens, Austria, headquarters. That original site remains active, with water, nature, and Swarovski coexisting in beauty and harmony. The jewelry reflects that fundamental balance.
JCK: When does the fine jewelry collection ship to stores?
Popper: The fine collection will ship to retail partners in August, for fall and holiday sales. We will be supporting the collection with a best-in-class marketing and consumer outreach package. Our boutique partners are the most important asset for us.
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