“We didn’t just want to make a crystal bra,” Ms. Engelbert said. She had worn Skims during her pregnancies and knew Ms. Kardashian in a vague way through fashion. She originally contacted her about two years ago, and they officially embarked on the project six months later, largely over group text. Ms. Kardashian calls them “think tank group chats.” (She and her team use the encrypted messaging app Signal so no one can steal the ideas.)
The partnership represents both “a new level of collaboration” and an expression of what Alexis Nasard, the Swarovski chief executive, said was a new business strategy built around “cultural relevance.”
“Kim’s persona and her visual codes are not in tune with everything else that you see,” he said. “Her styling also is not in tune always with everything that you see. There is a lot of originality in her, and in a way, she has been a cultural shaper.”
Ms. Kardashian, it turns out, has a history with crystals. “If I get a tooth gem,” she said, pointing at her mouth, “it has to be a Swarovski crystal. I used to make, like, little hair accessories and rhinestone things, and I’d have my glue — that E6000 glue — and a toothpick and the crystal, and I’d be bedazzling everything.” Her children have started to get her Swarovski figurines for Mother’s Day, like “a bear, you know, or a little Princess Jasmine. There’s certain things that just make you happy.”
One of the things that makes her happy is covering her laptop case in crystals. When she had a pink Apple MacBook, she covered it in pink crystals. When she had a black one, the sparkle was black. And now that she is back to silver, her Mac is frosted in silver Swarovski.
“I’d always had that idea of making outfits out of jewelry,” Ms. Kardashian said, adding that she wasn’t sure which of her new, jewelry-like outfits she would model at the opening of the Swarovski store on Fifth Avenue. “I have a few options that I pulled aside,” she said. “There’s two options I really love. I might just have to have a wardrobe change.”