Hong Kong bag designer Fiona Kotur pairs with Swarovski for crystal-adorned wooden accessory collection
Kotur, whose clutches and totes are a red carpet hit, says she’s always wanted to work in wood, and seized opportunity that arose by chance as a result of meeting with Nadja Swarovski
Not content with conquering the world of handbags, Hong Kong-based designer Fiona Kotur recently unveiled a collection of accessories made in collaboration with luxury crystal maker Swarovski, which are due to hit stores in February .
Kotur, who launched her eponymous label in 2005, rose to international fame thanks to her whimsical range of clutches, minaudières and totes, which have become red-carpet favourites with celebrities and style icons including Emma Roberts, Jennifer Lopez and Solange Knowles. Over the years she has dabbled in designing other items, including homewares (for Shanghai Tang) and footwear, but the Swarovski collection is inspired by a personal passion of hers – jewellery.
“I’ve done some jewellery in my former life, but this was the first time I got back into it. I was meeting with Nadja [Swarovski] about a separate project and we started brainstorming ideas. I was wearing wood bracelets at the time and was telling her how much I wanted to do a collection with wood. She’s very much about supporting women, ideas and creativity, so before I knew it we had a collaboration in the works,” says Kotur.
Using the idea of wooden cuffs as a starting point, the collection, called Wood Crystallized, features 11 styles comprising cuffs, cuff links, bracelet, necklaces, earrings, rings and even a handbag based on a Kotur style, The Espey.
Each piece is crafted from sustainably sourced walnut wood, which is then set with gobstopper-sized crystals and accented with leather details in shades of beige and red. The look is part tribal, part ethnic; the crystals add a touch of glamour.
Highlights include the cuffs, which Kotur says remind her of style icon Iris Apfel and are designed to be worn stacked on the arm. The tassel earrings and bold cocktail rings are also on trend, although Kotur encourages wearers to have fun and mix and match, much like her handbags.
“It’s about wearing them as you like. I love the unexpected details and I hope these add an element of surprise to a look. I would wear the pieces layered, with ethnic jewellery, but these styles can be taken into day or evening because they’re so timeless,” she says.
While this isn’t the first time Kotur has worked with Swarovski crystals – they have adorned previous creations such as her best-selling Get Smart clutch – she says that combining them with the wood added a new dimension to the pieces.
“I love touching wood – there’s something warm about it. It becomes a different material entirely when you add the hard edge and coldness of the crystals. All the pieces have an element of the Kotur DNA because it’s all about individuality and having something that is a bit of a statement. We also love to focus on natural materials that are used in an unexpected way,” she says.
While the collection is a one-off, Kotur says she is open to more collaborations.
“Given the opportunity as a designer you are happy to explore designing anything that excites you. Plus it’s a great platform to reach a bigger audience,” she says.