INTERVIEW Chrisanne

The champions’ choice in Ballroom and Latin couture

In the world of professional Ballroom and Latin dance – where sport meets art - CHRISANNE is the go-to choice of costumes for top class performers.

With more than 25 years’ experience as stellar innovators of eye-popping ballroom and Latin dance fashions, Chrisanne’s award-winning, glittering get-ups have enhanced the moves of many a professional performer, as well as grateful Strictly Come Dancing or Dancing on Ice celebrity contestants. In fact, Chrisanne’s glamorous reach knows no bounds: they’ve supplied fabric to Jimmy Choo, Matthew Williamson, and Philip Treacy, as well as creating crystal-encrusted outfits for the likes of Dame Edna and Cliff Richard. Peter Dobner, Chrisanne’s business director, sheds some sparkly light on the secret of their success.

I first started dancing at university and became passionately involved with the dancesport world. My wife Christina—also a dancer—designed her first dress when we were in the Austrian National Team. She splashed it with hundreds of crystals and it became the talking point of the championships.

In 1987, we partnered with World Champions Anne and Hans Loxholm to form Chrisanne. The two ladies had the style—my part was the business side.

Christina used SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS on all her original designs—it was a natural step to want to work with only the best materials and crystals, so the relationship continued as our business flourished.

Performing and dancing are all about getting noticed, which means that eye-catching, versatile crystals are an integral part of the design. Their uniqueness somehow connects people with their dream—it offers the dancer the optimum opportunity to present their individual story.

I’m hands-off when it comes to the creative side and completely dependent on my team. My strength is to keep a balance between the creativity and the reality of business!

My favourite place in the world is the Austrian mountains. When I can take the time off, a few days of hiking helps me to refresh my perspective.

My business inspiration has to be Richard Branson. He operates out of the box. I also recently read Andre Agassi’s biography—another extraordinary and determined person.

Our dresses have a timeless elegance and we work hard to maintain their quality. It’s all about the shape: if it’s wrong, it just won’t work. The last thing we want to be is average!

Swarovski Crystals Magazine #01 - Everyday Extraordinary

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