Nadja Swarovski is the great-great granddaughter of the Swarovski empire’s founder, Daniel Swarovski, the first female Member of the Swarovski Executive Board, and Chair of the Swarovski Foundation’s Board of Directors.
Nadja is married to hedge-fund manager Rupert Adams. They live with their daughters Thalia and Jasmine, and son Rigby, in London.
After obtaining degrees in in Art History, Foreign Languages and Latin American studies from Southern Methodist University in Dallas in 1992, she later completed a graduate course in Fine and Deconstructive Arts at Sotheby’s in New York, and in Gemology at Gemological Institute of America in New York.
Born in 1970 in Germany, she joined the Swarovski family firm in 1995, 100 years after it’s inception in Wattens, Austria, working for Swarovski in Hong Kong and traveling extensively in Asia to gain an international perspective before returning to New York.
She grew up hearing family stories of how her great-great-grandfather Daniel supplied Swarovski crystals to embellish Queen Victoria’s dresses, how her grandfather worked with Christian Dior to create the Aurora Borealis crystal stone effect, and she saw how her father, Helmut Swarovski, ensured that Swarovski remained at the forefront of technological advances and new market opportunities, including marketing crystal figurines.
The Mouse figurine, introduced in the 70’s & glued together with a few chandelier components, was the first figurine in a continuing series of many since that time period. It is how Swarovski went from a trade product to a consumer product. *Says Nadja, “the animals have changed, they became a bit more design-driven, but I personally think we still have a lot of room for improvement in that arena.”
In the early 1980’s Swarovski began creating its own line of jewelry. The Consumer Goods Division grew tremendously, and as those crystal animals evolved, a collector’s society was created in 1987. *According to Nadja, “the ratio between the jewelry and animals is now 80/20 in terms of our profits.”
Early in her career Nadja befriended fashion icon Isabella Blow, who supported her vision of bringing Swarovski’s rich heritage of working with the leading couturiers of Paris to the forefront of the brand’s contemporary image. Blow introduced her to young design talents who became long-time Swarovski collaborators, such as Alexander McQueen and Phillip Treacy.
This laid the foundations for a series of visionary initiatives which have established Nadja as one of the 21st century’s major patrons of design. These include the Swarovski Collective (fashion design), Runway Rocks and since 2002, the Swarovski Crystal Palace project, where Nadja commissioned designers to create cutting-edge designs, initially reinterpreting crystal chandeliers. The project has evolved to commission artistic installations that use Swarovski material, and since 2011, include those shown at Design Miami/Basel.
Since 2002 Swarovski has supported the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) Awards, sponsoring awards for emerging talents in three fashion categories. Under Nadja’s direction, the Swarovski Scholarship supports design students.
Nadja is also the Chairwoman and Executive Producer of Swarovski Entertainment Ltd, established in 2010, which develops, finances and produces feature films with global box-office appeal. Its first feature, Romeo & Juliet, written by Julian Fellowes, was released in the Fall of 2013.
Nadja Swarovski received the Making a Difference Award 2012 from Women for Women International.
In 2011 the CFDA honored Nadja for continued support of the American fashion industry.
Nadja received a Visionaries Award from the Museum of Art and Design in 2007.
In 2013, Nadja Swarovski received the NatWest UK Fashion & Textile Award for Outstanding Achievement from HRH The Princess Royal, President of the UK Fashion & Textile Association.
*Information compiled from various articles published on the Internet about Nadja Swarovski
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