With 2021 marking her fifth year working with Swarovski, and her first as its Global Creative Director, editor-turned-designer Giovanna Engelbert is set on presenting a new, cool facet to the crystal empire.
Congratulations on the appointment! What are you most excited about with your new helmship?
Thank you! In my new role, I cover all creative aspects of Swarovski and it’s incredibly exciting to work with a company that actually owns a material—and I just love crystal! Swarovski to me is a platform to express creativity in a very cross-disciplinary way. There are endless possibilities with a material that is charged with emotions, but above all, crystal will always bring joy. And that’s actually what keeps me going every day.
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How has your years of editorial, styling and creative experience informed your debut collection for Swarovski?
Looking back, all my experience is covered under the roof of one discipline: Creativity in different facets. My work as a consultant gave me the opportunity to keep up with the show business and the fashion industry, and finally, I can take all my knowledge from the past 20 years and put it into one soul for Swarovski. I see Swarovski as the jewellery brand of the future. It’s joyful and precious, effortless and gender neutral. All this is reflected in Collection I. This idea of a new glamour for the comfort era.
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Tell us about the creative process behind Collection I.
It sounds very ambitious, but fundamentally, it was a return to the basics; to crystal as a material. I was inspired by Daniel Swarovski’s geometry drawings and I wanted the first collection to emphasise the divine perfection of the material as he saw it. It’s an ode to crystal in many ways. Despite the geometric perfection of the pieces, playfulness was a major part of the creative process. The use of monochromatic, bold colours and unexpected settings, coupled with the play on the notion of scale throughout, give a very modern, very expressive feel to the entire collection.
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This is definitely a collection that turns heads. Who is the person you are designing for?
I can’t express enough that this collection is about saying, “This is who I am.” These pieces offer an embellishment for life and lifestyle, and we’re entering an era where there’s fluidity in expression—every morning, you can change your style and what you want to say with it. With jewellery, the possibility of styling it differently gives you so many ways to express yourself. Saying this, it’s extremely important that we create for a genderless audience. In this way, there’s no limit to who can wear what— or how—and this leaves space for expression in an incredibly fun way.
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