The CFDA Fashion Awards are just over a week away, and to celebrate Swarovski‘s 10th year of underwriting the awards, the crystal company tapped Philip Crangi to design a limited edition 10-piece jewelry collection. The New York-based designer is one of our all-time favoriteswe even chose him as one of our 50 most stylish New Yorkers!and he won the prestigious CFDA Swarovski Award in 2008. The man is just as lovely as he is talented, and he talked to us about his inspiration for the collection, his top three summer essentials and how it feels to win a CFDA award right after Tom Ford.
You were a CFDA winner back in 2008could you tell us how you felt when you found out you were nominated and then again when you won?
Oh yeah! I was really shocked and delighted obviously that I was nominated. Then winning was crazy because Tom Ford had just won something right before me and I was like, Oh my God! It is so crazy that Im in this room with all these people and I just won an award too.’
I felt so miscast in the situationit was so great. Swarovski in particular was really great and Im in love with what theyre doing. When they came to me and asked me to do this project I was over the moon. I couldnt believe it happened.
Your Swarovski collaboration is much “blingier” than your usual minimalist style. How did you like working with the crystals?
I LOVE it. For me design is a challenge at its best, so I wanted this to feel like a true collaborationsomething that feels really us and really Swarovski at the same time, and that kind of challenge is what its all about.
Was there a particular theme or inspiration that ran through the collection?
I was really inspired by the idea of the royal crown in particular and a very famous painting of Napoleons coronation and the gold royal crown being put on his head. It set me off on a journey through 18th century costumes and couture techniques. I wanted to do something that is very feminine but also has this sort of edge that Swarovski is known for
What are your favorite New York City escapes for the summer?
My sister and I have a house together out in Cherry Grove and were gone all summer.
What are your summer essentials?
A game of Yahtzee, my leather visor and a beach towel, basically.
When it comes to jewelry, do you often wear your own pieces?
Although I support changing your jewelry often, I myself get pretty attached to things. So I wear this ring everyday and I wear these necklaces everyday. Jewelrys very special to me and I like it to have a meaning.
Do you have a favorite piece you’ve ever made, even if its from when you were a kid?
Yeah, I have a favorite pieceits actually a bracelet I made for my sister to wear to the CFDA Awards the year we won. I love my sister and it shows that I love her. So I look at it everyday on her. Its a good piece.
Finally, since its graduation time, do you have any advice for any aspiring jewelry designers?
Do only the work that you want to do. Youre put here for a reason and you have to find out what that is.