When you think back to your first job, odds are it has nothing to do with where you eventually landed. For handbag designer Fiona Kotur, her most recent collaboration with Atelier Swarovski has brought her career full circle. “My very first job after college was with Swarovski in London. It was when the company was starting to launch its own jewellery collection, and I was an assistant running around,” she says.
In the 25 years since Kotur cut her teeth at the Austrian crystal producer, she’s added stints at big names like Ralph Lauren, Gap and Tory Burch, which she cofounded, to her impressive CV. It was at the latter that she had the opportunity to explore Asia, which led Kotur to relocate to Hong Kong from New York after launching her namesake handbag label in 2005. Her signature minaudières and clutches have since become red-carpet staples, carried by the likes of Jennifer Lopez, Janelle Monae and former Vogue editor-at-large André Leon Talley.
This spring, she’s bringing her celeb-endorsed elegance to Wood Crystalized, an 11-piece jewellery collaboration with Atelier Swarovski. Made using sustainably sourced walnut, it’s the first time the brand has worked with wood, a material that Kotur says adds a contrasting natural element to the brand’s famous crystals. “I love that each reflects strongly one aspect of nature. One is opaque, soft and warm, while the other is translucent, angular, and sharp,” she says. “There’s a humble nature of the wood mixed with this extravagant crystal that catches your eye and draws you in.”
With necklaces, rings, earrings and even a clutch boasting a serene, Tibetan-influenced aesthetic, Wood Crystalized is as at home at a gala as it is on the beach. The star of the collection is the large cuff bracelet, a personal favourite of Kotur’s. “In general, I believe you shouldn’t be shy in expressing yourself,” she says. “It’s just one way of exerting your personality and showing your true self.” Mission accomplished.
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