Design and craftsmanship are often paired with a legacy business. These designers have not only left their mark on the world of accessories, but their brands have stood the test of time.
Daniel Swarovski learned the family craft of glass cutting from his father and patented an electric glass-cutting machine in the alpine town of Wattens in 1892. Three years later the son founded the brand, setting the groundwork for a market leader in crystal products of all kinds. What started with a piece of glass now features a product line that breaks records by the sheer volume of designs and product applications. From Hollywood greats like Marilyn Monroe and every James Bond actor, to the famous Disney figurines and incredible collaborations with designers from all over the world, the Swarovski company has played a role in so many different areas it would take a whole page just to list them. The Austrian firm is still run by the family and they opened the Swarovski Crystal Worlds museum to honor the regional legacy of crystal craftsmanship. The company still lives its founder’s vision: seeking to offer “a diamond for everyone.”
In 1984, Tom Kartsotis, a ticket brokerage operator, had had enough of his day job and decided to try his luck with watches. He traveled to Hong Kong and bought up 1,500 timepieces combining them with a brilliant marketing scheme. Fossil’s first designs had a retro vibe, packaging every watch in a tin case, reminiscent of the 1930s and 1940s. At a time when Indiana Jones was taking the world by storm, a genius advertising campaign drove up sales tenfold by tapping into the adventurous feeling of 1950s America. As the years passed the brand incorporated a now established line of licensed brand watches from Armani to Burberry and expanded their product line to include a bag collection. These sleek and classy bags range from clutches to weekenders. Each design harkens back to 1950s America, making the bags a welcome addition to any style conscious closet.
In 1863, Wilhelm Alexander Christ opened his first store in Frankfurt. After World War II destroyed the shop, along with almost half of Germany, the family was able to reopen in 1951. What started as a tiny watch store has grown into an enormous company that provides necklaces, rings and bracelets, to watches and everything else that shines and sparkles. The collaboration with celebrities, designers and the exclusive collection by Jette Joop are just some of the milestones in the journey that started over 154 years ago. Back in 1950, when the wedding and engagement ring business was booming after the Great Depression and the war, the company won the hearts – and hands – of their customers with their slogan “Wenn’s soweit ist” (when the time comes). From timeless pieces to state-of-the-art watch technology and jewelry materials, the company has stayed true to its standards in design and quality.