San Francisco socialite, Vanessa Getty hosted an evening of sparkle recently at the opening reception for the new Swarovski shop in Union Square. In addition to being a local style maven, Ms. Getty is a tireless fundraiser for animal welfare, a noble pursuit supported by the Swarkovski company.
Known for innovation in crystal cutting technology, Swarovski gave costume jewelry a little glamour for everyday women back in the late 1800s. In the 1930s, fashion designers such as Chanel, Balenciaga, and Schiaparelli all incorporated Swarovski crystals in their creations. By the 1950s, Hollywood caught on with costumers adding crystals to their designs and actresses sporting Swarovski jewelry to opening nights.
Today Swarvoski is still a family owned business based in Austria and also a growing brand name with shops all around the world – three in San Francisco. In addition to jewelry and beads for fashions, they make animal figurines and home decor items. Swarovski Crystals remain a hit with designers – Armani, Prada, Alexander McQueen, Gucci are just a few who regularly use the sparkle stones in their designs.
My own experience with Swarovski dates back to the early 90s on a European tour. While in Austria, I picked up a Swarovski memento for my sister-in-law, Lori, in the form of a crystal fish. Swarovski animal figurines were and still are quite collectible. I fell in love with the little fish for its faceted body and twisted frosted glass tail. What made it a perfect gift for Lori is that she’s a Pisces.
The new Swarovski shop is located at 295 Geary Street in downtown San Francisco.