With a vision to create a diamond for every woman, Daniel Swarovski founded his eponymous brand in1895, and since then it’s high-quality crystals and gemstones have become synonymous to luxury. In India, a number of designer (Tarun Tahiliani and Suneet Varma) collaborations have assisted the brand make its indelible mark.
To take the idea of luxury a notch higher, the brand is all set to launch its SS’19 collection packed with exquisite pieces. Replete with eclectic influences, earthy tones and re-imagined Swarovski motifs, the line conjures up a mood for a vacation. Besides creating an interesting interplay of crystals and sunlight, the line is inspired by a cultural confluence of exotic locales such as Capri, Santorini and Sicily.
With it’s Valentine’s Day, Spring and Mother’s day collection as a part of its SS19 bracket there is a lot for Indian jewellery aficionados to choose from.
Aymeric Lacroix, Managing Director, Swarovski Consumer Goods Business, Southeast Asia and India speaks to Lifestyle Asia about their latest collection, challenges in the Indian market and how he plans to address them.
How do you define/describe the new SS’19 collection and how is it different from anything Swarovski has done in the past?
Our Spring/Summer 2019 collection embodies a message of disconnection from the urban craze with a spotlight on playful, bold, feminine and uplifting designs. You will witness exquisite craftsmanship combined with a sunny palette of shades such as strawberry red, golden yellow and intense blue. Our Creative Director, Nathalie Colin, wants women to disconnect from the urban craze and reconnect with life and sunshine-filled moments inspired by the Mediterranean.
What are the signature pieces from the SS’19 collection and your personal favourites?
With each new season, we aim to give women jewellery pieces that can elevate their style quotient. As a part of our SS19 line, the Valentine’s Day collection called ‘Lifelong Bow’ is ultra-feminine with a contemporary edge met with a seductive palette of soft nudes and pinks, clean lines and fresh interpretations of classic symbols of love, such as a bow. The Spring collection aptly titled ‘Lucky Goddess’ seeks inspiration from ancient Mediterranean cultures.
However, our personal favourite has to the Mother’s Day Collection, the ‘Sunshine Range’. It’s got a beautiful, fine jewellery execution and a silhouette that depicts the sun, complete with radiant and sparkling crystal rays that exude the powerful energy of the sun.
Are there any new materials that have been used? Any new craftsmanship?
The spring collection, ‘Lucky Goddess’ not only uses lucky symbols and motifs such as the evil eye, horseshoe, coins etc. but it also makes very good usage of bright, coloured crystals in earthy pink hues to strawberry red tones. This collection also makes use of the unique, gold metal tone as opposed to the rhodium or rose-gold metal tone giving it an extra edge.
The exquisite Swarovski Pointiage technique is also used in some of the summer pieces, which is usually used in our larger Crystal Living pieces. This gives the product a luxurious touch paired with the pride of Swarovski craftsmanship.
In a market driven by traditional Indian jewellery labels – both fine and costume – how do you plan to make space for your minimal pieces?
A. The Indian customer is well informed in terms of jewellery knowledge, whether it comes to its material or make. We very well understand the importance of precious or gold jewellery and its cultural connotation in India and therefore do not seek to diminish these values. We are inspired by its culture and keeping that in mind our strategy is to only tap into occasions that make sense for a jewellery buyer. For example, Raksha Bandhan as an occasion even though traditional is something that we can tap into as Swarovski jewellery makes for a perfect gift.
We are experiencing a change in trend; besides conventional or traditional jewellery customers are getting acquainted with fashion jewellery.
We have witnessed the Indian customers understanding Swarovski for its brand value and a long line of heritage and craftsmanship, it is our blue box and the pride of owning or gifting it that appeals to jewellery aficionados. So, our strategy is a combination of leveraging the brand value and to amplify the fashion quotient of the product for a better experience.
What are the big challenges you have faced in the Indian market, and how have you addressed them?
The Indian jewellery market is rather large, rapidly growing this €135 million fashion jewellery market will double up in the next 4 years owing to widespread distribution and the e-commerce wave. One of the bigger challenges we have faced in the market is the high luxury perception of the brand among the millennials. As we have been a pioneer brand to enter India back in 2003, the brand enjoyed a rather luxurious perception. But we are not to forget the vision of the brand as was conceived by Daniel Swarovski back when the brand started in 1895, which was, ‘A diamond for every woman’. This is the path that we want to walk on even after 123 years, globally as well as in India. We want to make sparkle available to all women from everyday wear to glamorous occasions.
To tackle this, we are actively working on making sure our price perception is corrected by communicating our entry price point at all touch-points. We also working on creating a sense of belonging to the brand by associating with local influencers and storylines that are locally relevant to the customer or potential customer.