Majors

Swarovski Names First Company-Wide Creative Director Amid Exec Shake-Up

MajorsMay 21, 2020

Swarovski Names First Company-Wide Creative Director Amid Exec Shake-Up

Fashion industry veteran Giovanna Battaglia Engelbert will oversee the crystal company’s creative elements.

Giovanna Battaglia Engelbert has been appointed as Swarovski’s first creative director, following the appointment of a CEO and changes to its executive structure.
Wattens, Austria—Swarovski has named fashion veteran Giovanna Battaglia Engelbert its first company-wide global creative director, the crystal company announced earlier this week following recent changes to its executive board.

“For decades, Swarovski has been illuminating the world of fashion, design, entertainment, in general the whole creative industry. I am thrilled to be leading the creative vision of a cultural powerhouse like Swarovski in the future,” said Engelbert in a press release.

Engelbert, who confirmed the appointment on her website, will be tasked with overseeing the creative side of the Swarovski crystal business, including brand image, products, communications, campaigns, stores and events.

Born and raised in Milan, Engelbert has been an editor and fashion consultant for more than 20 years, working with big-name brands like Dolce & Gabbana, Michael Kors, Christian Dior, and Carolina Herrera.

The former Dolce & Gabbana model was a force behind Vogue Gioello, the now-defunct Vogue publication dedicated to jewelry, and also served in editorial roles for L’Uomo Vogue, Vogue Japan, Vogue Pelle, and W Magazine.

She also rose to fame for her oft-photographed street style outside of fashion week shows around the world, becoming one of the industry’s biggest and earliest street style stars.

In 2016, Engelbert took on a consultant role for Swarovski Professional, the company’s business-to-business division.

She created the “Book of Dreams,” a limited-edition coffee table magazine showcasing artwork created using the company’s crystals and pearls.

Englebert’s first product designs will be showcased in Swarovksi’s Spring/Summer 2021 collection.

The announcement follows a recent restructuring at the company, which included the appointment of CEO Robert Buchbauer, the great-great-grandson of the company's founder, Daniel Swarovski.

“Our 125-year history is witness for the power of our company to transform and reinvent itself and I am pleased to welcome a brilliant creative mind and strong female leader like Giovanna to our company,” said Buchbauer in a press release.

As far as other executive changes, a source told WWD that Nadja Swarovski, also a great-great-grandchild of the company’s founder, had “lost all oversight of her main responsibilities, which was the Atelier Swarovski business, corporate branding, communications and corporate social responsibility.”

A company spokesperson declined to address a change to Nadja’s role, but noted she was still a member of the executive board.

Markus Langes-Swarovski, however, is no longer a member of the executive board, a spokesperson confirmed, but remains on the advisory board and is the chairman of the board of directors. 

The executive board, the board of directors, and the advisory board are separate entities, said Swarovski.

The executive board, which held the reins prior to the appointment of a CEO, now includes Buchbauer, Mathias Margreiter, and Nadja Swarovski.

Lenore Fedowis the associate editor, news at National Jeweler, covering the retail beat and the business side of jewelry.

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