Fans of fashion editorial are familiar with the name Giovanna Battaglia Engelbert. The Italian fashion editor—who famously executed six wardrobe changes on her wedding night—had her own girl-about-town column, Life with Gio, in W magazine for years, and last year published a Rizzoli book about her adventures in the fashion world. She’s a front-row fixture at fashion shows, and her work as a stylist for W and global Vogue editions is well-known.
Now Engelbert’s landed a high-profile position in the jewelry world. Swarovski announced Tuesday that she’s been appointed the first-ever company-wide creative director for the company.
It’s a nontraditional choice for 125-year-old family-owned global brand. But Swarovski’s undergone major personnel changes lately as part of a complete restructuring. After years of operating without a chief executive officer, the brand named Robert Buchbauer its CEO in April. And Nadja Swarovski, the most well-known face of the brand, has seemingly been sidelined, though WWD reports she still runs the company’s sustainability efforts and its charitable foundation.
A request for comment from Engelbert wasn’t returned by publication time, but a press release from the brand said she will oversee “the full creative direction of the company and reimagine the product portfolio across all divisions.” The first products she designs will be showcased in the spring/summer 2021 collection.
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I have an exciting news to share with you. For decades, Swarovski has been illuminating the world of fashion, design, entertainment, in general the whole creative industry. I am thrilled to be leading the creative vision of a cultural powerhouse like Swarovski in the future.
(Image via @bat_gio)
Under Nadja Swarovski, the company’s jewelry has been moving into more trend-driven territories in recent years. With Engelbert—a well-liked fashion insider with a penchant for both classic glamour and pop fun—at its helm, future collections could potentially be pacesetting for the entire industry. At minimum, they will receive high-end editorial attention and be showcased on A-list celebrities at red carpet events, thanks to Engelbert’s friendships and connections.
Buchbauer said in a prepared statement, “Our 125-year history is witness to the power of our company to transform and reinvent itself, and I am pleased to welcome a brilliant creative mind and strong female leader like Giovanna to our company. With her remarkable track record in the industry and compelling point of view, she will explore new frontiers and become a vital part in writing the next chapter of our success story.”
Top: Giovanna Battaglia Engelbert (image via @bat_gio)
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