The year started with the launch of our mystical Aurora collection (SS 2018) to critical acclaim across the fashion industry. Inspired by the ancient goddess of the dawn, the collection featured two limited edition pieces, the Livada and Reyna cabochons. These were designed specifically with an ‘Eastern’ feel in mind, featuring exotic geometric patterns intended to pay homage to the complicated and ever evolving relationship between East and West.
Next up, undoubtedly one of our highlights was our collaboration with world-renowned shoe designer Manolo Blahnik. In June, we were honored to have him unveil his Bohemian-inspired one-of-a-kind commemorative addition to The Art of Shoes embellished with Preciosa chandelier trimmings in our Flagship Store in Prague. Then, two months later in August, again in our Flagship Store, he gave an extremely rare public talk with extensive media coverage, and unveiled his design for a very limited edition pair of his iconic Hangisi pumps. They were an entirely unique and unprecedented piece of work, in that they were made entirely from Czech hand-made bobbin lace and premium Preciosa crystal. Only 20 pairs were made in total, and the lace alone for each shoe took in excess of 70 hours of work.
September saw both the launch of our other-worldly Nereid collection (AW 2018/19) - featuring our uniquely stunning crystal net - and it also saw our attendance at the legendary New York Fashion Week, where we collaborated with dress designer Bibhu Mohapatra and fashion label The Blonds. Bibhu Mohapatra is internationally famous for his daring creations, and has designed evening-wear for numerous celebrities, including Michelle Obama and Gwyneth Paltrow. His display in New York centered around ‘the untold stories of the traveling woman’, along with a geisha and bondage theme. Preciosa crystals were elegantly incorporated into his theme.
The Blonds are a New York due and long-term partner of Preciosa, whose work is always bold and extravagant. Their exhibition in New York included wild animal prints and dazzling head-to-toe Preciosa crystals that brought the theme of ‘Platinum Paradise’ to life. It is always a pleasure to work with such creative, eye-catching labels.
Another huge moment was our October collaboration with Vogue ‘the fashion bible’ Portugal magazine. For their fifteenth anniversary issue, they adorned the cover with 700 premium Preciosa crystals, alongside a stunning black and white photo of Angolan supermodel Maria Borges. Only one hundred copies of the very special edition were produced, and they went on sale for an impressive €250.
Also high on our list was being asked to design and create the trophies for GQ magazine’s Men of the Year awards in Lisbon. The ceremony took place on Saturday 11th November, with winners including platinum selling singer Luis Fonsi and male model Jordan Kale Barrett. The fourteen trophies we produced were each hand-made from 100% Bohemian crystal, and were coated with 6000 black chaton roses. We feel that they were the perfect testament to the precision and craftsmanship we are famous for, and this glamorous partnership was a huge success.
Towards the end of the year we worked closely once again with New York-based Bibhu Mohapatra in the creation of a beautiful doll – named Celeste – for a UNICEF charity auction. On his doll Celeste, he used Preciosa crystals to decorate her dress; the result was a sparkling masterpiece. We just hope Michelle Obama wasn’t too jealous!
Another internationally acclaimed designer we had the pleasure of working closely with was Korea’s own Lie Sang Bong. Currently the president of the Council of Fashion Designers of Korea and renowned for his architectural collections that ‘celebrate and enhance the body’, he is also a lecturer at Hongik University in Seoul, and at the beginning of December he tasked his students with using Preciosa crystals in their graduating looks for the 2017 Fashion Biennale. Preciosa donated $5,000 worth of crystals for the students to use, and Lie Sang Bong judged the results in a fashion show in Seoul in front of more than 500 onlookers. The winners received Preciosa-made trophies, and prize money collectively worth $10,000.
And finally, this December we have been working in an ongoing partnership with the Four Seasons hotel chain, with Christmas decoration workshops (using exclusively Preciosa crystals) being held every Friday in the Prague branch for the hotel guests. The main tree in the hotel lobby was also decorated exclusively with Preciosa decorations.
We’ve seen many changes, both internally and externally over the course of 2017, however the core values that have held this company together for almost five centuries never fail to inspire us, remind us of our purpose, and keep our passion for what we do burning brightly.
Looking back, we feel a great deal of gratitude and warmth toward our partners and customers, and a huge amount of optimism for the coming year!
Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year from Preciosa.