Trend forecasters can be thought of as modern hunter-gatherers. The famous Dutch trend forecaster Lidewij Edelkoort describes the process as “much like archeology, but to the future”—in other words, trends are forward facing, but they also take account of past references. It’s a continuous, fluid process of observing, researching, compiling and, finally, forecasting how we will be living in years to come.
So it is that Swarovski’s visionary trend experts customarily look two years ahead, which means that the crystal company is already in the position to announce its trends and innovations for Fall/Winter 2017/18. These go by the title, The Nature of Us. This overall theme focuses on the value shift among consumers towards greater social inclusion, ethical consumption and sustainable behavior, with special emphasis on the world’s fragile ecosystem.
For Swarovski, sustainability is far more than a trend—it’s in the brand DNA, and it is fundamental to the company’s philosophy. The CLEAR compliance program, Advance Crystal standard and Swarovski Waterschool all attest to this. If further evidence is needed, Swarovski has also embarked on a close collaboration with Céline Cousteau called the Tribute to Tribe collection, which echoes the season’s theme. Inspired by her project, Tribes on the Edge, as well as her experiences with indigenous peoples in the Brazilian rainforest, the environmentalist and humanitarian presents her second Designer Edition for Swarovski. Characterized by symbols that celebrate the interconnection of mankind to nature, the designs are all tribal inspired. The Oval Tribe Fancy Stone stands for a new design ethos where global references and mediums are mixed and matched to create a contemporary appreciation of the remote and unknown. The Rhombus Tribe Fancy Stone is a beautiful rendition of a tribal-inspired design, inviting us to embrace a multicultural future. As an international, almost universal, symbol, the cross is deeply rooted in every culture; as such, the Cross Tribe Fancy Stone incorporates the message of social responsibility, mutual respect and pluralism.
In addition, The Nature of Us presents four further sub-themes:
Soul Food (Classic)
A humble aesthetic of down-to-earth, functional, gender-neutral lines prevails. The new Oval Rivoli Fancy Stone suits designs of refined simplicity, while the Framed Cabachon captures today’s relaxed shapes and mixed materials. Colors from the new Crystal Shiny Lacquer PRO range include Crystal Dark Red and Crystal Ivory Cream, complemented by Crystal Iridescent Red Pearl.
Work Life (Progressive)
Designers have noted the arrival of robotics in the workplace, and are humanizing these hard-edged elements with a palette of soft pastels and fun crystal elements. The new CombinationTriangle Family’s Alpha, Beta and Gamma Flat Backs suit everything from office wear to leisure looks. The new Crystal Shiny LacquerPRO effect, Crystal Dark Grey, opens up a range of contemporary design opportunities, while timeless gemstone colors of Crystal Royal Red and Crystal Royal Blue add color injections that perfectly respond to the new consumer mood.
Travel Age (Romantic)
The desire to travel to remote destinations and learn from their cultures inspires a new design ethos, where global references are mixed to create a contemporary appreciation of the unknown. Céline Cousteau’s Tribute to Tribe collection captures this spirit: Decorative tribal tattoos and painted skin motifsare reflected in her tribal-inspired Oval Tribe Fancy Stone, Rhombus Tribe Fancy Stone and Cross Tribe Pendant, reflecting a multicultural, sustainable future. This mood is expressed in Swarovski’s emerald-like Crystal Royal Green from the Crystal Shiny LacquerPRO range.
Party Spirit (Glamour)
A younger, irreverent attitude is reflected in rebellious, gender-fluid design statements. The rise of festival fashion is reflected in the style and stage presence of music legends from the past in designs that feature leather, chains, beads and crystals. This individualism underpins the Kite Fancy Stone and glam-rock Female and Male Symbol Fancy Stones, while the metallic luster of the new Crystal Rainbow Dark effect offers an edginess that’s perfectly in step with this modern, gender-neutral glamour.