Deborah Landis announces Swarovski Crystal Initiative for design

Famed Hollywood jeweler establishes ties with TFT's Copley Center for the Study of Costume Design

Swarovski crystal

The David C. Copley Center for Costume Design at the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television (TFT) has established a groundbreaking partnership with Swarovski, the world's leading producer of precision-cut crystal. This initiative is Swarovski’s first relationship with a university in the United States and the first anywhere to benefit an institution whose primary focus is entertainment rather than fashion.

UCLA's Copley Center for the Study of Costume, the only institution of its kind in the world, is revered for its unparalleled curriculum, which provides its students with a deeper understanding of the role costume designers play in the collaborative process of the cinematic and performing arts.

Future plans for the Copley Center/Swarovski collaboration will include a series of Swarovski Distinguished Designer Panels that will begin at the 2011 Design Showcase West (DSW), which will be held at UCLA .The panels will offer students of design a unique opportunity to meet and interact with some of the entertainment industry's most respected practitioners of the craft. Additionally, the program will launch The Swarovski National Design Competition at 2012 DSW, to be offered annually to all graduate students of design in the U.S.

“At a time when the global entertainment industry demands both classic and new forms of visual storytelling that will enlighten, engage and inspire audiences worldwide, a unique partnership with Swarovski advances our mutual goal by developing and showcasing outstanding, diverse, new creative leaders who will shape our culture in exciting, positive and imaginative ways for many years to come," said Teri Schwartz, dean, UCLA TFT.

Swarovski design

"Swarovski is proud to support the newly founded Copley Center at UCLA," said Nadja Swarovski, the company's Vice President of International Communications. "We are delighted to help graduate students prepare for their careers by investing in a top-ranked costume design program that crosses media boundaries. As a longtime supporter of the creativity and innovation of costume and set design for film, stage and television, we look forward to challenging a new group of artistic minds to add sparkle to the stage and screen by using crystal in original and exceptional ways."

“I'm thrilled to launch this dynamic relationship with Swarovski because it will create extraordinary opportunities for our amazingly talented students, distinguished faculty and the professional world of costume design," said veteran costume designer and Professor Deborah Landis, Chair of the Copley Center for the Study of Costume Design.

Earlier this summer, the unique partnership awarded its inaugural Swarovski Award for Excellence in Costume Design to UCLA MFA costume student Caitlyn Talmage during the 2010 DSW on June 5. The award included a cash prize and a sparkling crystal award. Additionally, Swarovski hosted an innovative workshop on the prestigious Westwood Campus, offering students an interactive insight into the world of crystal.

Landis adds, "This is a wonderful collaboration between a highly respected leader in the field of costume design and the academic community."

"For many costume designers entering the work force," Landis continued, "the professional relationships initiated at DSW will continue throughout their career. One of our primary goals is for this connection to expand and enrich a young designer's creative horizons and skill set as they become familiar with the wide range of Swarovski crystals."

About Swarovski

In 1895, Daniel Swarovski I, a Bohemian inventor and visionary, moved to the village of Wattens, Tyrol, in Austria, with his newly invented machine for cutting and polishing crystal jewelry stones. From this beginning that revolutionized the fashion world, Swarovski has grown to be the world's leading producer of precision-cut crystal for fashion, jewelry and more recently lighting, architecture and interiors. Today, the Swarovski group, still family-owned and run by fourth- and fifth-generation family members, has a global reach with some 24,800 employees, a presence in more than 120 countries and a turnover in 2009 of 2.25 billion Euros. Swarovski comprises two major businesses, one producing and selling loose elements to the industry and the other creating design-driven finished products. Swarovski crystals have become an essential ingredient of international design. Since 1965 the company has also catered to the fine jewelry industry with precision-cut genuine and created gemstones. Showing the creativity that lies at the heart of the company, Swarovski's own brand lines of accessories, jewelry and home decor items are sold through more than 1,800 retail outlets worldwide. The Swarovski Crystal Society has close to 350,000 members across the world, keen collectors of the celebrated crystal figurines. And in Wattens, Swarovski Kristallwelten, the multimedia crystal museum was opened in 1995 as a celebration of Swarovski's universe of innovation and inspiration. The Swarovski group also includes Tyrolit®, manufacturing grinding tools, Swareflex, for road safety reflectors, and Swarovski Optik, producing precision optical intruments.