Swarovski has opened a new flagship store in New York, and its glitzy interiors will have visitors stepping into a world of candy-colored crystal.
The new Swarovski on Fifth is a two-floor, 14,400-square-foot retail space that celebrates the luxury brand’s storied history while offering its collections across jewelry, home decor and accessories. It features vibrant color-blocked areas in bright pink, yellow, green, with oversized gem-like octagons appearing all around both the façade and interior — including the shape of an opulent pink staircase that leads visitors through an installation of the history of the 128-year-old brand and its influence on both haute couture and Hollywood.
In addition to nurturing deep relationships with fashion houses including Chanel, Dior, Balenciaga and Viktor & Rolf over the decades, Swarovski has been behind many an iconic red carpet ensemble, from Rihanna’s ethereal “naked dress” at the 2014 CFDA awards, to Harry Styles’ harlequin jumpsuit at the Grammy Awards earlier this year. (And who can forget Doja Cat’s dramatic entrance to Schiaparelli’s Couture Spring-Summer 2023 show in Paris in January, where she arrived covered head-to-toe in red body paint and 30,000 Swarovski crystals?)
Most recently, Kim Kardashian partnered with the company on a new collection for her lingerie and shapewear brand Skims, featuring crystal-covered bodysuits, dresses and underwear. Kardashian, Gwyneth Paltrow, Billy Porter and Ashley Graham were among those fêting the launch as well as the flagship opening in November.
A Swarovski ‘temple’
While a number of new Swarovski flagships have recently opened or are in the works in Shanghai, Tokyo, Milan and Seoul, the Fifth Avenue location in New York is the brand’s grandest yet, meant to “ignite the imagination from the moment you step into the store,” according to a press statement by Swarovski creative director Giovanna Engelbert, who designed the space.
“From the grand staircase to the use of quilted velvet and silk throughout the store, all details are intended to provide customers the feeling of being inside a luxurious jewelry box,” she added. “My vision was to produce a modern, joyful, elevated, and futuristic design, which mirrors the light, energy and colors of New York.”
Fittingly, the flagship will also contain a trove of treasures, according to Swarovski, including the largest crystal chaton ever cut. On the second floor, an all-white boutique offers Swarovski Created Diamonds – its lab-grown diamond collection — as well as a lounge featuring its crystal-embellished porcelain tableware, a partnership with fine china brand Rosenthal.
The new flagships are the company’s “brand temples,” explained Swarovski CEO Alexis Nasard in a video call with CNN. Nasard became the first person outside of the Swarovski family to helm the Austrian company when he took the role last year.
“We felt it was really important that we display the brand in a way that transcends commerciality — that people do not just come to the store to transact,” he said. “We want them to experience the whole values that the brand represents, in terms of its history, in terms of its brand equity, in terms of its collaboration, in terms of its collections, and most importantly, of its customer service.”
Most importantly, Nasard said, the new store exemplifies Swarovski’s own take on luxury.
“Swarovski luxury is not the traditional luxury, which is about snobbism and high prices, and taking ourselves seriously,” he said. “Our luxury is about offering consumers joy, self-expression, self-indulgence, and the ability to be beautiful on your own terms.”