• Chrissie Nicholson-Wild

swarovski sell out

Bikini and costume designers worldwide are reeling from a shock announcement from Swarovski that they will cease supplying their crystals and elements from June next year.

The biggest brand name in crystal manufacture will be closing stores and cutting jobs and concentrate on higher profit products such as jewellery. In an article in Bloomberg it outlines has recently the company has undergone a structural overhaul and that the core strategy of the business is changing in line with protecting the brand from dilution and "... shrink the lower-margin mass-market".

Following on, first from Brexit, and now the pandemic crisis this follows a trend of many business's cutting off less profit-making products resulting in many other partner business's closing down. One of my regular suppliers Stephen Arnold, who was an 'official distribution partner' is closing after 26 years trading and has already put up their prices as the products become more scarce.

The shortfall of this means that us designers and makers must look to other products to continue to produce our own work, and that some Swarovski specific colours and cuts will simply disappear from designs.

How this will affect costume designers

This means that by mid next year all my designs will be decorated with Preciosa crystal and other brands rather than their more famous Swarovski counterpart. This doesn't mean a drop in quality by any means, Preciosa crystal is also made in Austria and, in my opinion, was always on a par in shine and quality with Swarovski's. It is also entirely possible that now Swarovski has ceased trading in this area that Preciosa will now increase their designs and colours to cover the gaps in their own product range.

Crystal supply companies are also looking for products to fill in those gaps, Crystal Parade have always been my go-to supplier for all things crystal. Poppy, owner of Crystal Parade was ".... very surprised and of course worried about the impact it would have on Crystal Parade and the knock on effect it has for our customers...Our mission is now to let everyone know we are able to supply the full range of Preciosa crystals and they don't have to worry, they are still going to sparkle on the stage!". Luckily for us Poppy is working hard to fill those gaps with new crystal called Zodiac and I am looking forward to seeing how they compare. She says " Many celebs have been wearing Preciosa crystals including Kylie, JLo, beyonce, Billy Porter, many of the West End Musicals and TV productions. When it comes to big sew on crystals the product offering from Preciosa is not as great as Swarovski, we have launched our own brand Zodiac and have lots of fabulous colours available. "

Many bikini designers already use the cheaper glass and resin crystals available from China, but I find the drop in quality and consistency irksome. It's deeply unsatisfying to take all the time and effort to make a bikini only to be let down by the quality of the crystal.

The upshot of this is that if you want Swarovski crystal on your bikini you must order it and pay your deposit before June, otherwise the crystal will simply be unavailable.

Click here to pay your deposit now in my online store and be one of the last people to get the full Swarovski.

#competitionbikini #bikinidesigner


Bloomberg 30th October 2020

Stephen Arnold

Poppy, Crystal Parade