Nadja Swarovski was born in Germany in 1970. She studied Art History at Southern Methodist University in Texas, and at Sotheby’s Institute of Art and the Gemological Institute of America in New York City.
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.
Nadja Swarovski joined the Swarovski family firm 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 at Swarovski Crystal Business.
Nadja’s career began with Larry Gagosian, the New York gallerist, followed by a time with legendary fashion publicist Eleanor Lambert. She joined the family business in 1995, working for Swarovski in Hong Kong and travelling extensively in Asia to gain an international perspective before returning to New York. 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 and Runway Rocks, which aim to support and celebrate both emerging and established talents in fashion and jewelry design, as well as luxury jewelry business Atelier Swarovski, whose designers include Zaha Hadid, Christopher Kane, Viktor & Rolf and Karl Lagerfeld.
In 2002 Nadja launched Swarovski Crystal Palace, an experimental platform which pushes the boundaries of lighting and design through collaborations with artists, architects and product designers using the medium of crystal. This has resulted in a spectacular body of work which provides a snapshot of the most exciting and creative minds of the first decade of the 21st century.
Since 2002 Swarovski has supported the Council of Fashion Designers of America Awards, sponsoring awards for emerging talents in three categories.
Swarovski is Chairwoman and Executive Producer of Swarovski Entertainment which was established in 2010 to continue the company’s collaboration with the film industry.
Nadja is a supporter of many cultural and arts causes including Films Without Borders and the English National Ballet, as well as charities including Maggie’s Centres, Women for Women, the NSPCC and Walk the Walk.
Swarovski received a Visionaries Award from the Museum of Art and Design in 2007.
In 2011 the CFDA honoured Swarovski for continued support of the American fashion industry.
Nadja Swarovski received the Making a Difference Award 2012 from Women for Women International.
In 2013, Swarovski received the NatWest UK Fashion & Textile Award for Outstanding Achievement from HRH The Princess Royal, President of the UK Fashion & Textile Association
Swarovski is married to hedge-fund manager Rupert Adams. They live with their daughters Thalia and Jasmine and son Rigby in London.
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