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Swarovski, Jason Wu collaborate for collection, social media blast

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June 22, 2012

Swarovski crystals on Jason Wu resort 2013 apparel

Swarovski is leveraging a collaboration with designer Jason Wu for its resort 2013 collection through a video and imagery that both brands are blasting via their own social media channels.

Pieces in the Jason Wu resort 2013 collection contain hundreds of Swarovski crystals in the shapes of insects and flowers that added to the natural inspirations behind the collection. Jason Wu is explaining his inspiration in a video presented by Swarovski and both marketers are cross-promoting the video and exclusive collection images via their Web sites, Facebook and Instagram.

“The key to a successful collaboration is shared core values,” said Stephanie Tisch, art director at Seraph, Miami. “Put simply, Jason Wu’s core business is fashion and Swarovski’s core business is the manufacture of crystal embellishments.

“Though the two companies are in different industries, the values of each of their customer groups – artfulness, simplicity, creativity and beauty – are shared,” she said. “As such, it is likely Jason Wu’s customer will appreciate and be interested in Swarovski’s creations and vice versa.”

Ms. Tisch is not affiliated with Swarovski, but agreed to comment as an industry expert.

Swarovski and Jason Wu were not available for comment before press deadline.

The inspiration
Rather than relying on a runway show, Swarovski is raising awareness for its design collaboration with Jason Wu via video and imagery that it is dispersing via social media.

The film shows Mr. Wu discussing the inspiration behind his resort 2013 collection. The collection is based on nature and the strict silhouette of the ’60s, per the designer.

Jason Wu Resort 2013: Making Of the Collection video

Swarovski crystals were incorporated into the collection in insect and flower motifs on some pieces, which were inspired by the work of artist Mike Libby.

For example, the brand’s crystals form the shape of flowers set in cabochons on black-and-white dresses in the collection. There are also white crystal flowers trimming the neckline of white dress.

The behind-the-scenes film that shows the making of the collection was shown on Swarovski TV, a section of the brand’s Web site, and its YouTube channel.

Swarovski TV

Jason Wu featured the design collaboration in an article in the news section of its Web site. The label also shared exclusive imagery via its Tumblr page.

Jason Wu Tumblr blog 

The video is also on the Swarovski and Jason Wu Facebook pages, which reach a combined fan base of more than 2 million consumers.

Both brands are also showing behind-the-scenes imagery of the crystal embellishments on the resort collection via Instagram.

Jason Wu is currently sharing images on its Instagram page while Swarovski intends to feature images soon.

The resort 2013 design collaboration extends from the ongoing design partnership between Jason Wu and Swarovski. Jason Wu’s innovative use of crystal made the label an ideal design partner for Swarovski, per the crystal maker.

So social
Swarovski seems to be aiming at younger consumers lately in its efforts that encompass all types of social media.

For instance, Swarovski is looking to target a younger demographic through a Web series starring “Gossip Girl” stylist Eric Daman that will be broadcast exclusively on entertainment site Cambio.

To add to the experience, Swarovski will host a Gossip Girl-themed competition with social media components (see story).

In addition, Swarovski is asking Facebook fans to make videos of themselves dancing in virtual Swarovski sunglasses via an application on its Timeline for the chance to win eyewear from the brand’s new collection.

Swarovski is likely focusing on sunglasses as summer approaches to seem attainable to younger consumers who have not previously considered the brand for eyewear (see story).

Jason Wu and Swarovski are pulling all the social media stops to promote this collaboration, which might be diluting the brands.

“I do not think luxury brands need to broadly promote themselves and their collaborations to the mass-market public so much as relevant, meaningful communication with each other’s established audiences,” Ms. Tisch said.

“The goal here for both Jason Wu and Swarovski would be earning the trust of new prospective customers from each other’s already-established business,” she said.

However, the collaboration could help Swarovski reach fashion-savvy consumers of Jason Wu, while Jason Wu could benefit from making a younger audience aware of his work.

“When two brands share similar core values but perhaps different audience groups, collaboration is always a wonderful thing in my book,” Ms. Tisch said.

“Whenever two creative talents come together, the output is often stronger that the sum of their individual parts,” she said. “I love the spirit of working together and think we will see more and more of it as traditional ways of production and marketing dissolve.”

Final Take
Tricia Carr, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York  

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Tricia Carr is an editorial assistant on Luxury Daily. Her beats are apparel and accessories, arts and entertainment, education, food and beverage, fragrance and personal care, government, healthcare, home furnishings, jewelry, legal/privacy and nonprofits. Reach her at tricia@napean.com.

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