|Occupation||Member of the Executive Board, Swarovski Crystal Business; Chairperson, Swarovski Foundation|
Nadja Swarovski (born 1970) is an Austrian businesswoman. She joined the Swarovski family company in 1995, 100 years after it was founded by her great-great-grandfather Daniel Swarovski in 1895 in Wattens, Austria. She is the first female member of the executive board, and leads the global brand strategy and communications of the business, which turned over approximately €3.5 billion in 2017. She also heads up the company's Sustainability strategy and the Swarovski Waterschool community investment program, and is Chairperson of the Swarovski Foundation.
Early life and education
Nadja was born in Germany and grew up in Austria, the fifth generation of her family to be involved in the Swarovski Crystal Business. Her great-great-grandfather Daniel supplied Swarovski crystals to embellish dresses for Queen Victoria; and her grandfather Manfred Swarovski worked with Christian Dior to create the iconic 'Aurora Borealis' stones. Her father Helmut Swarovski ensured that Swarovski remained at the forefront of technological advances and new market opportunities. Having led the company's manufacturing for 45 years, he remains a member of the 'Beirat' supervisory board.
She received a BA in Art History and Foreign Languages with a minor in Latin American Studies at Southern Methodist University in Texas, and studied at Sotheby's Institute of Art and the Gemological Institute of America in New York City.
Nadja's career began at the Gagosian Gallery, before she went on to work for New York fashion PR Eleanor Lambert. She first worked for the Swarovski Crystal Business in Hong Kong before developing its branding and creative services functions in New York, followed by Paris, London and Singapore.
Over the past 20 years, Nadja has driven a program of collaborations between the Swarovski brand and leading figures in fashion and jewelry, design and architecture, and stage and screen. Through these collaborations she has sought to position the company at the vanguard of creative and lifestyle trends and has established herself as a leading patron of creativity.
In fashion, Nadja has initiated and overseen Swarovski's collaborations with more than 200 designers, including Alexander McQueen, Philip Treacy, Jason Wu, Hussein Chalayan, Erdem and Mary Katrantzou, as well as supporting emerging and established design talent through the Swarovski Collective initiative. In addition, Swarovski has supported the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) Awards since 2002; and since 2016 Swarovski has partnered with the British Fashion Council as official partner sponsor of the Fashion Awards, held annually in London.
In 2002, Nadja launched Swarovski Crystal Palace, a program of commissions that reimagines the traditional chandelier through collaborations with designers in the medium of Swarovski crystal. Featured designers have included Zaha Hadid, John Pawson, Tom Dixon, Ross Lovegrove, Arik Levy and Yves Behar.
Nadja has also furthered the company's long relationship with the film industry through collaborations with costume and set designers. Swarovski crystals have appeared in silver screen classics since the 1930s, including Blonde Venus, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and Breakfast at Tiffany’s. In recent years, Swarovski crystals have featured in movies including Moulin Rouge!, Black Swan, Skyfall and Disney's live-action Cinderella. In the music industry Nadja has overseen collaborations with costume designers for performers such as Beyoncé, Taylor Swift, Jennifer Lopez and Madonna.
In 2007, Nadja set up Atelier Swarovski, a jewelry and accessories line which offers cutting-edge pieces created in collaboration with designers that highlight creativity, innovation and craftsmanship with crystal. Past collaborators include Christopher Kane, Viktor & Rolf, Jean Paul Gaultier and Karl Lagerfeld. In 2016, Atelier Swarovski launched its home décor range, partnering with designers such as Daniel Libeskind, Ron Arad, Tord Boontje, and Fredrikson Stallard. In 2017, Nadja oversaw the launch of Atelier Swarovski Fine Jewelry made with Swarovski Created Diamonds. This launch saw the brand further its commitment to ‘conscious luxury’, a concept it defines as creating beautiful products with the best available materials in a responsible way.
In 2018, Nadja collaborated with two-time Oscar-nominated filmmaker Eric Valli and fashion designer Jean-Paul Gaultier on The Soul of Swarovski, a documentary short which captures the creative process behind a Swarovski crystal collaboration.
Since 2012, Nadja has led Swarovski's Sustainability strategy and overseen Swarovski's Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives. Building on Daniel Swarovski's founding principles of doing business in a way that respects the wellbeing of people and the planet, she has steered the company in the direction of designing and manufacturing luxury goods that prioritize sustainable and ethical practices, while aligning Swarovski's efforts with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
Nadja publicly champions gender equality on international platforms and uses the company's brand visibility to promote women's empowerment. Swarovski is a signatory of the United Nations’ Women's Empowerment Principles (WEPs), and part of the UN Women UK National Committee Corporate Advisory Group; and, in 2018, the company supported a research program with BSR (Business for Social Responsibility) to explore and improve the lives of women in the jewelry supply chain.
Nadja set up and chairs the philanthropic Swarovski Foundation, which was established in 2013 to support charitable initiatives and organizations working in three areas: culture and creativity, promoting human empowerment and conserving natural resources. Key Swarovski Foundation partners include Barefoot College, Nest, and The Nature Conservancy, while major projects include the creation of the Swarovski Foundation Centre for Learning at the Design Museum in London.
Nadja leads the efforts of Swarovski Waterschool, the company's flagship community investment program, which educates students in seven countries across the globe about safe and sustainable water use. In 2018, Swarovski collaborated with the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television to create WATERSCHOOL, a feature-length documentary which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and was released globally on Netflix.
At the 2018 Society of British and International Design awards Nadja received the Fellowship Award.
In 2018, Nadja was awarded the Luxury Briefing Award for Outstanding Individual.
In 2018, the Canadian Arts & Fashion Awards named Nadja as the recipient of the Global Fashion Business Leader Award.
In 2018, Nadja received the Visionary Award from the Women's Jewelry Association.
In 2017, she received a Stephan Weiss Apple Award from Donna Karan's Urban Zen Foundation.
In 2016, she was made a Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, in recognition of Swarovski's support for the Palace of Versailles in France.
In 2012, Nadja received the Making a Difference Award 2012 from Women for Women International.
In 2011 the Council of Fashion Designers of America honored Nadja for the company's continued support of the American fashion industry.
In 2007, Nadja received a Visionaries Award from New York's Museum of Art and Design.
Nadja is married to hedge-fund manager Rupert Adams. They have a son and two daughters.
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