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A Brief History of Swarovski - Courtesy of Swarovski

1895 - Swarovski is Born - Inspired by the idea of making crystal accessible to more people, Daniel Swarovski, a Bohemian jeweller, patents an electric cutting machine that cuts crystal more precisely than by hand.

In 1895 he founds Swarovski in the small town of Wattens, high in the Austrian alps, because the energy potential offered by the nearby rivers makes it the ideal destination for Swarovski's first production site. Daniel's vision was to use crystals to create "a diamond for everyone", and his pioneering spirit and glass-cutting innovations help us continue his mission today.

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 1932 - Blonde Venus dazzles in Swarovski - Swarovski makes its silver screen debut in the film Blonde Venus, in which iconic Hollywood actress Marlene Dietrich dazzles in statement jewelry and costumes embellished with Swarovski crystals.

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1953 - Gentlemen Prefer Blondes - She may have sung 'Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend', but those show-stopping jewels worn by Marilyn Monroe in the 1953 film's iconic cabaret scene are none other than Swarovski crystals. Swarovski crystals also adorn many of the other opulent costumes and jewelry for Marilyn's character, Lorelei.

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1956 - The Creation of Aurora Borealis - Swarovski unveils its extraordinary Aurora Borealis effect, which makes crystals shimmer in every colour of the rainbow, and is named after the Northern Lights. Christian Dior is the first of many couturiers to be enchants by the captivating new crystal, using it to lavishly decorate the plunging necklines of his cocktail dresses and in some of his most iconic costume jewelry.

 

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 1962 - Happy Birthday Mr President - In one of her most iconic moments, Marilyn Monroe serenades President JFK with a sultry rendition of "Happy Birthday" at Madison Square Garden, wearing a Jean Louis designed sheer dress, flesh-coloured dress that she was literally sewn into.

Under the spotlights, the fabric seems to melt away, leaving only the brilliance of the 2,500 Swarovski crystals glistening. The dress sold at an auction in 1999 for over USD 1.26 million.

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1965 - Swarovski Gemstones - Swarovski begins to manufacture precision-cut gemstones, including sapphire, peridot, amethyst, marcasite and zirconia.

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 1997 - Semi-Precious & Precious Gemstones - The development of advanced computer-aided technology allows Swarovski to perfect machine cutting of semi-precious gemstones, including sapphire, period, amethyst, citrine and topaz

1999 - Swarovski Meets Alexander McQueen - After being introduced to Nadja Swarovski via their mutual friend Isabella Blow, the young Alexander McQueen features Swarovski crystal mesh in his Spring Summer collection.

This collaboration kick-started Swarovski's commitment to support emerging designers, and the Swarovski Collective was born. Since then, Swarovski has supported nearly 150 emerging and established designers in producing some of the most ground-breaking and memorable fashion looks of the last 15 years.

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2001 - Moulin Rouge - Swarovski takes centre stage in Baz Luhrmann's musical spectacular, which its crystals adorn the dazzling costumes of Nicole Kidman's Satine. A fitting collaboration, as Satine is also known as the 'Sparkling Diamond'.

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2003 - Launch of Swarovski Runway Rocks - In a celebration of spectacular catwalk jewelry, the world's most cutting edge designers are commissioned by Swarovski to create one-of-a-kind pieces using Swarovski crystals and gemstones. The inaugural show in London includes masterpieces by Shaun Leane, Lesley Vik Waddell, Scott Wilson and Rosemarie Le Gallais.

In the same year, Swarovski presents a world first in textiles: Crystal Fabric. This innovation fuses fabric and crystal into a second skin, using transparent Hot-FIx foil that is completely covered with tiny round crystals and can be ironed, sewn, or glued onto materials such as lace, velvet, silk, denim, leather, or synthetic fabric.

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2004 - Xilion Cut - Continually innovating in the world of crystal, Swarovski develops the Xilion cut, which increases the brilliance of the crystal sparkle. Since its launch Xilion has stood for the utmost brilliance, intense sparkle and fascinating light effects.

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2012 - Brilliance Redefined with Xirius 1088 - Swarovski sets new standards in precision cutting with the release of the Xirius 1088 crystal. Named after the brightest star in the galaxy, the intricate gemstone-like cut, rich colour and enhanced foiling produce an exceptionally durable new generation of crystal, taking it one step closer to the diamond.

The lolaandgrace jewelry and accessories brand is launched, selling fashion-forward jewelry, crafted using Swarovski crystals, for women with a zest for life.

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  • June 03, 2016
  • Parth Rashiwala