Swarovski

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For other uses, see Swarovski (disambiguation).
Swarovski
Type Private
Industry Fashion, Glass
Founded 1892
Headquarters Austria
Key people Markus Langes-Swarovski, Swartz Family Trust, Nadja Swarovski
Products Figurines, jewelry and couture, home decor, chandeliers, loose crystal elements
Employees 24,841 (Dec 2009)[1]
Website www.swarovski.com

Swarovski AG (/swɒrˈɒfski/ sworr-OFF-skee)[2] is an Austrian producer of luxury cut lead glass, headquartered in Wattens, Austria. The company is split into two major industry areas, the Swarovski Kristall business unit that primarily works with luxury items and fashion design crystals, and the Tyrolit business unit that manufactures bonded abrasives as well as concrete sawing and drilling machinery.

History[edit]

Daniel Swarovski (1862–1956), the founder of the company

Daniel Swarovski (October 24, 1862 – January 23, 1956), formerly Daniel Swartz, was born in northern Bohemia (now the Czech Republic).[3] His father was a glass cutter who owned a small glass factory. It was there that the young Swarovski served an apprenticeship, becoming skilled in the art of glass-cutting. In 1892 he patented an electric cutting machine that facilitated the production of crystal glass.[4][5]

In 1892, Swarovski financier Armand Kosman and Franz Weis founded the Swarovski company, originally known as A. Kosman, Daniel Swartz & Co., which was later shortened to K.S. & Co.[3] The company established a crystal cutting factory in Wattens, Tyrol (Austria), to take advantage of local hydroelectricity for the energy-intensive grinding processes Daniel Swarovski patented.[4][6]

Nadja Swarovski, the founder's great-great granddaughter, is a member of the Swarovski executive board.[7]

Products[edit]

The Swarovski Crystal range includes crystal glass sculptures and miniatures, etc.

The Swarovski Crystal range includes crystal glass sculptures and miniatures, jewelry and couture, home decor, and chandeliers.

All sculptures are marked with a logo. The original Swarovski logo was an edelweiss flower, which was replaced by an S.A.L. logo, which was finally replaced with the current swan logo in 1988.[8]

To create crystal glass that lets light refract in a rainbow spectrum, Swarovski coats some of its products with special metallic chemical coatings. For example, Aurora Borealis, or "AB", gives the surface a rainbow appearance.[9] Other coatings are named by the company, including Crystal Transmission, Volcano, Aurum, and Dorado. Coatings may be applied to only part of an object; others are coated twice, and thus are designated AB 2X, Dorado 2X etc.

In 2004 Swarovski released Xilion, a copyrighted cut designed to optimise the brilliance of Roses (components with flat backs) and Chatons (diamond cut).

The Swarovski Group also includes Tyrolit (makers of abrasive and cutting tools); Swareflex (reflective and luminous road markings); Signity (synthetic and natural gemstones); and Swarovski Optik (optical instruments such as binoculars and rifle scopes).

Swarovski have also created a fragrance range which include both liquid and solid perfumes.[10]

The company runs a crystal-themed museum, Swarovski Kristallwelten (Crystal Worlds) at its original Wattens site (near Innsbruck, Tyrol, Austria). The Crystal Worlds Centre is fronted by a grass-covered head, the mouth of which is a fountain. The grass-covered Crystal Worlds Centre houses exhibitions related to, or inspired by, the crystals but do not include explanations of how the famous designs are made, produced or finished.

Swarovski work was recently exhibited at Asia's Fashion Jewellery & Accessories Fair based on the concept of a single continuous beam of fragmented light travelling through a crystal.[11]

Subsidiary companies[edit]

The centerpiece of the theme park
The Swarovski-crystal-covered Christmas tree at the Toronto Eaton Centre in 2006
Swarovski
Fashion accessories and crystal-based ornaments.
Daniel Swarovski
Jewelry, handbags, accessories and interior design objects.
Swarovski Optik
Optics.
Atelier Swarovski
Fashion and jewellery designers. Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren designed a 2014 fall collection.[7]
Swarovski Crystal Palace
Avant-garde lighting and design (chandeliers etc.)
Swarovski Elements
Crystal designs.
Swarovski Kristallwelten
Museum, Art and Entertainment.
Swarovski Gemstone Business
Gemstone designs.
Swarovski Lighting
Finished lighting products and solutions with crystal for architecture.
Tyrolit
A manufacturer of bonded grinding and cut-off wheels.
Swareflex
A road safety products specialist.
Schonbek
A crystal chandelier manufacturer.
Touchstone Crystal
Swarovski's direct sales company for ready-made jewelry

Active-Crystals[edit]

In 2007 Swarovski formed a partnership with electronics giant Philips to produce the "Active-Crystals" consumer electronics range.[12] This includes six USB Memory keys and four in-ear headphones, and in 2008 they included Bluetooth wireless earpieces for the brand, all with some form of Swarovski crystal on them as decoration.

Figurines and collectibles[edit]

Swarovski's figurines are collectible, with a stylized mouse being the very first figurine created. A smaller version of this mouse, now labeled the "replica mouse", is still available. The company produces many types of figurines from ladybugs to limited edition Disney collectibles.

Crystallized – Swarovski Elements crystals were included in some collectible silver coins issued by the Royal Canadian Mint in 2009.[13]

Sponsorship and placement[edit]

Since 2004, Swarovski has created the 9-foot-diameter (2.7 m), 550-pound (250 kg) star or snowflake that tops the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree in New York City. The tree ornament now serves as the inspiration for the smaller Annual Edition ornaments that have been sold in the retail stores since 1991.

Swarovski was a sponsor for the 2004 film The Phantom of the Opera, in which the "standing model" of the chandelier was composed of Swarovski crystals. A Swarovski shop window is visible later in the film. However instead of using the edelweiss flower, which would have been the case in the era the film was set, the current swan logo was used.

The 2009 documentary film This Is It showed Michael Jackson rehearsing for a concert tour, featuring costumes covered in Swarovski crystals.

Swarovski is product-placed in the 2011 J-Lo promo video for the single "On The Floor", alongside Crown Royal Whisky and BMW. It is also product-placed in the 2012 Nelly Furtado's Big Hoops music video.

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Swarovski Facts and Figures". Brand.swarovski.com. Retrieved 2010-04-24. 
  2. ^ "About Swarovski". Crystalfanaticsclub.com. Retrieved 2009-09-16. 
  3. ^ a b Pederson, Jay . (1988). International directory of company histories, St. James Press, p. 422.
  4. ^ a b Callan, Georgina O'Hara; Glover, Cat (2008). The Thames & Hudson Dictionary of Fashion and Fashion Designers, Thames & Hudson, p. 248.
  5. ^ "About Us – The Story". Swarovski. Retrieved 2009-11-08. 
  6. ^ Campbell, Gordon (2006). The Grove encyclopedia of decorative arts, Volume 2, Oxford University Press US, p. 407.
  7. ^ a b Szmydke, Paulina (28 February 2014). "Viktor & Rolf to Design for Atelier Swarovski". WWD. Retrieved 28 February 2014. 
  8. ^ Swarovski Crystal Worlds. Ninemsn. October 25, 2007.
  9. ^ Dodds, Jo-Ann (November 20, 2004). "A real gem off the beaten path." Toronto Star.
  10. ^ http://www.thelondonperfumecompany.com/special-offers/free-swarovski-gift.html
  11. ^ "Swarovski Crystallized Paris". Marmalade London. Retrieved 2014-07-23. 
  12. ^ "Swarovski, Philips unveil 'Active Crystals'." Press Trust of India. September 24, 2007.
  13. ^ Royal Canadian Mint 2009 Holiday Gift Guide.

External links[edit]