This may not be Nathalie Colin’s first trip to India, but it is one of the brightest. The creative director and executive vice-president of Consumer Goods Business, Swarovski Group, was in Mumbai recently to unveil a crystal installation called Light Up
Your Life, designed by scenographer Sumant Jayakrishnan, and also preview the brand’s India-specific festive line. Edited excerpts from an interview:
Since you’ve been to India before, what are your impressions of the country?
I’ve been to New Delhi, Mumbai and Ladakh before, of which my most memorable trip was my visit to Dahanu Valley, Ladakh, in 1994, where I lived with the locals. I think India is all about colour, colour and more colour. Lots of jewellery, stacking, sparkle and gold. There is a sense of richness and craft in different design dimensions of life — whether it’s in the textiles, or the tools and decor they use.
What have you gleaned about Indian buying habits in the last 15 years of Swarovski’s presence in the country?
Firstly, we had to acquaint buyers with the concept of fashion jewellery, since India has an immense heritage in terms of fine and precious jewellery. Currently, what we sell really well are sets of earrings and necklaces, easy to carry, especially for women who are travelling abroad. In general, consumers in India like yellow gold, like buyers in the US. While Germany leans towards rhodium and silver, Asian ladies also love rose gold because it looks beautiful against their skin.
Why did Swarovski feel the need to launch an India-specific collection?
We have capsule collections for key markets such as China, Japan, the US and now India, where we feel there is a need for a special style that we don’t cover in the global collection. In India, the styles come out of a more traditional Indian jewellery background. Our second capsule collection has delicate metal filigree work, which draws upon Indian traditions. We have also taken inspiration from the dangling, fringe-like elements innate to Indian jewellery, and used big crystal stones with filigree caging.
Do tell us about the Swarovski ‘Light Up Your Life’ Diwali installation at Palladium Mall, Mumbai.
Collaborating with artists is part of the Swarovski DNA. Mr. Swarovski has worked with Coco Chanel and Christian Dior in the past. To celebrate Diwali, we worked with designer Sumant Jayakrishnan and asked him to share with us his own interpretation of the festive season. His art installation is inspired by the Diwali lantern and it beautifully reflects the faceting of crystals in all their geometric glory.
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