Nathalie Colin, creative director of Swarovski, takes us through the creative process as well as the inspiration behind their current Nature-infused collection.
Take us through the creative process that a jewelry line goes through from ideas to sketches to production.
The process starts 20 months prior to collection launch. I work closely with our internal bureau de style to explore trends and spot those we want to capitalize on. It’s a phase where ideas are fused together, and amplified to produce the initial key features that will determine the feel and essence of the collection.
The colors are then selected to define the main schemes, matching both current trends and the collection in question. Here, Swarovski has an incredible range of possibilities to choose from, with over 150 different crystal color shades and effects, and 400 crystal cuts.
Then begins a seven-month complex process of creative exploration, design, testing and redesign. During this stage, the product families take shape; hand sketches become computer- generated designs in 2D and 3D; the crystals stones find their way in the setting, and the significance of the intricate metal work becomes clear. Finally from almost 1,500 sketches, 600 new designs are selected to produce the new collection.
Could you name three main areas that inspired you for the latest collection?
The starting point of this season, Spring/ Summer 15, was Nature but a more modern version of Nature itself.
The modern element of Nature, the one that is in the mind of urban planners and architects when they design modern cities, when they want to integrate elements of Nature.
This idea is to humanize cities in the same way we want to recreate element of Nature in our jewelry, stylize them, modernize them, give them a twist.
We wanted to bring a feel of Nature through a great color palette, inspired by flora and fauna, little organic elements or shapes.
What has been the most challenging part of your journey within Swarovski?
To combine heritage and modernity, to constantly update our distinctive codes through modern and contemporary designs but this is also the most exciting part of it.
How do you manage to combine fresh modern ideas while sticking to the brand’s heritage?
Swarovski always cultivated a sense of modernity, of constant renewal. I look at women, look at my team, and I firmly believe a brand needs to reinvent itself to constantly surprise and delight. Crystal and its infinite possibilities help me stay inspired!
If you were to sum up the brand’s DNA in 5 main points, what would they be?
Due to our core material, for me what comes first about Swarovski is sparkle and touch of glamor. Crystal is a joyful positive material, it instantly brings light and reflects, it is alive. I think Swarovski also stands for craftsmanship, contemporary design and uncompromised quality.