While the non-fashion person in the city might only think of Swarovski as a brand associated with all things glittery, among the members of the fashion community, Swarovski is known as one of the most industry's most generous patrons, especially when it comes to sponsoring emerging talent.
Not only does the brand sponsor the CFDA's "Swarovski" award series, which highlights up-and-coming talent in the industry (this year's winners were Jason Wu, Richard Chai, and Alexander Wang), Swarovski also underwrites the fashion week shows of a hand-picked selection of designers. This year's just-announced lineup in terms of New York includes Prabal Gurung and Juan Carlos Obando.
Typically, the honor of being tapped by Swarovski for your runway show means that not only will you actually be able to, say, afford fashion week (runway shows, for example, cost an arm and a leg for an upstart talent), but you'll also be required to use some fabulous Swarovski crystal action in your collection -- much as the Swarovski award winners bedazzled some of their It-items for a sale on Gilt recently.
While the inclusion of Gurung isn't exactly earth-shattering -- he's rapidly becoming the season's major talent to watch -- but Juan Carlos Obando is definitely a talent that's still flying largely under the radar of the mainstream fashion scene, so it will be interesting to see how the sponsorship lifts him above the rest of the noise at fashion week.
Also interesting is how few New York folk are among Swarovski's bejeweled ranks this season: As Fashionista's complete list indicates, the London scene seems to be enjoying the majority of the brand's benevolence for Spring 2011.