Nadja Swarovski talks personal taste: Part One

Nadja Swarovski is creative director of her family’s 116-year-old eponymous company, which she joined in 1995.

Nadja Swarovski at Swarovski Crystal Business, London.
Nadja Swarovski at Swarovski Crystal Business, London. | Image: Dan Burn-Forti

My personal style signifier is Eau de Sisley 2. It’s a very fresh, lemony perfume. I find it uplifting and, as it is not too heavy, it’s perfect for the office environment. A wonderful perfume to wear throughout the day. £97 for 100ml,

The last thing I bought and loved was a black leather bag from Céline’s Mini Luggage range, in which I carry two laptops, an iPad, three BlackBerries, an iPhone and my documents. It’s sturdy but elegant, and the design is quite feminine. £1,200,

Céline Mini Luggage, £1,200.
Céline Mini Luggage, £1,200.

And the thing I’m eyeing next is a fingerprint canvas by Marc Quinn. I saw the series he made of his family’s fingerprints at his studio. They’re completely white with resin ridges and the oval shapes make them look like large eggs. I’d like to commission him to make something similar for my

An unforgettable place I’ve travelled to in the past year is San Ysidro ranch in Santa Barbara, California. It’s surrounded by nature and the food is amazing. There are little cottages with views into the forest. I believe the best rejuvenation comes from a strong connection with nature, and this is a place where body and soul are totally uplifted. Cottages from $1,200 per night, 900 San Ysidro Lane, Santa Barbara, California 93108 (+1805-565 1700;


The people I rely on for grooming and style include Anthony Sorensen at Frédéric Fekkai – the best hair salon in New York and LA. In London, I go to QMS Medicosmetics Skincare Spa for its oxygen facial, which is great – it’s all to do with its special oxygen-dispensing applicator, which apparently helps the products penetrate the skin. Frédéric Fekkai, 712 5th Ave, New York 10019 (+1212-753 9500; and 8457 Melrose Pl, Los Angeles 90069 (+1323-655 7800). QMS Medicosmetics Skincare Spa, 43 Cadogan Gdns, London SW3 (020-7730 8090;

A recent find is Erwin Redl, an Austrian artist living and working in New York. He creates amazing two- or three-dimensional installations using LED lights, and I admire the way he has pushed boundaries with his use of light as art.

Zaha Hadid’s Bergisel Ski Jump, Innsbruck.
Zaha Hadid’s Bergisel Ski Jump, Innsbruck. | Image: Helene Binet

An indulgence I’d never forgo is Ladurée’s rose-flavoured macaroons with a glass of champagne. The flavour is overwhelming and you get this amazing explosion of taste in your mouth. I can only eat them when I’m really hungry, as they’re very sweet. £11.60 for six, 71-72 Burlington Arcade, London W1 (020-3155 0111;

The last music I downloaded was Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue. We work very closely with the English National Ballet, whose recent show, Strictly Gershwin, at the Royal Albert Hall was a huge success. For me, Rhapsody in Blue is synonymous with New York.

Eau de Sisley 2, £97 for 100ml.
Eau de Sisley 2, £97 for 100ml.

The books on my bedside table are Your Body Speaks Your Mind: Understand the Link Between Your Emotions and Your Illness by Debbie Shapiro, which considers how ailments reflect what’s going on in your mind. I’m also enjoying Andrew Carnegie by David Nasaw. I really appreciate Carnegie’s vision, work ethic and consideration for his employees.

In my fridge you’ll always find apple juice for my family and pomegranate juice for myself; eggs, cheese and vegetables; and there’s also wheatgrass, which we press and keep in the fridge.

Andrew Carnegie by David Nasaw.
Andrew Carnegie by David Nasaw.

The best gift I’ve received recently was a shatoosh scarf with my initials on it. It’s designed by Christina Plank and was given to me by my cousin, who runs Elizabeth Fashion in Abu Dhabi.

The site that inspires me is the mountain scenery around Innsbruck. I grew up in the Tyrol and mountain views always move me. At Innsbruck, Zaha Hadid has redesigned the ski jump and the cable-car station on the other side of the valley. They both look extraordinary, but absolutely work in this context.


My favourite website is Gaiam, which sells yoga DVDs, clothing and equipment. Gaiam is about healthy and considerate living. It’s my goal to do pilates and yoga every day – the former in the morning and the latter in the evening.

Read the second part of this interview on Friday November 18, only on

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