It might be a rather little-known fact that the world-renowned Austrian company, whose name has become virtually synonymous with crystals, has been giving support to the up-and-coming designers for 15 years now. Now the brand decided to take their “crystal support” forward and run a competition with a chance to win the €25,000 Swarovski Collective Prize for Innovation.
15 chosen designers of New York, Paris and London will form a Swarovski Collective and receive a year-long sponsorship and the crystal supply for their spring/summer 2015 and autumn/winter 2015 shows, as they compete with each other for the big prize.
The official list of the competing designers has been announced already: Marques Almeida, Huishan Zhang, Peter Pilotto, Ashley Williams and Mary Katrantzou, who will represent the London designer line-up; Prabal Gurung,Creatures of the Wind, Wes Gordon and Nonoo as a part of the New York team; and Iris Van Herpen, Damir Doma, Jay Ahr, Masha Ma and Christian Wijnants forming the Parisian arm of the collective.
The judges will evaluate how the designers incorporate the decorative and technological supplies for example. 3D printers and LED lights) into creation of their designs.”We are thrilled to celebrate 15 years of the Swarovski Collective be evolving our program to ensure our creative partners have the resources they require to experiment, innovate and reach their maximum potential in their craft,” said founder Nadja Swarovski, who will also be a judge in this competition. “We look forward to seeing their spectacular crystal looks over the next two seasons.”
The Swarovski Collective Prize for Innovation wouldn’t be the first example of competition programmes arranged by big companies in order to help emerging designers put their business on track. For example, LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton are running their Young Fashion Designer Prize and Chanel partnered with the Première Vision Grand Jury Prize, not to mention the various competitions by Vogue and other magazines. That being said, Vanessa Friedman of The New York Times raised a reasonable question as to why not make a TV show out of these competitions (and steal away all the Project Runway fans). That would make a really valuable input for all the fashion designer wannabees out there, besides, it would be really exciting to watch.