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Planners of the Year: Crystal-Clear Messages

Kim Krikorian creates high-impact appearances for Swarovski at high-end fashion and design events.

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Kim Krikorian

What She Plans: As Swarovski North America’s communications manager, Krikorian runs the company’s aggressive sponsorships, which typically put its crystals on prominent display in some sort of fantastic installation within a design- or fashion-minded event. (Swarovksi bedazzled the runway for the November Victoria’s Secret show, and displayed a chandelier in the shape of a dress at the Costume Designers Guild awards in Los Angeles in February.) Those sponsorships have been an important part of the company’s marketing efforts since Krikorian started its creative services center in New York five years ago. The center serves as a showroom for fashion, jewelry, lighting, and interior designers to try out the merchandise, and as a headquarters for Krikorian’s three-person marketing team. In addition to approximately 20 sponsorships a year, Krikorian, 35, runs the PR efforts and plans about eight events a year. Those efforts have helped to create a strong brand for what is, after all, just a component designers use in their own products. (Honestly, could you tell a Swarovski crystal from a competitor’s?) This Year’s Most Successful Sponsorship: At the Council of Fashion Designers of America’s award ceremony in June, Swarovski erected a giant screen that showed the arriving—and decked-out—guests
outside, in a frame covered with crystals. “From a brand image perspective, that was the biggest,” Krikorian says. “No one’s ever seen anything like it before.”
How She Measures Success:
A mix of formal and informal matrices, including tracking media coverage and calculating its value based on advertising rates, “plus the more abstract and intangible feeling of knowing that you made a strong, positive impression or experience that people will remember and not forget. Did people have fun?”
How She Chooses Events to Sponsor: She looks for “perfect chemistry of purpose, product, people, location, and newsworthiness,” says Krikorian, who worked in events and PR at Tiffany & Company for five years before starting at Swarovski. “I don’t believe in having a party for no real reason. Events are so much better when they have a genuine purpose or promote a sincere collaboration. If an event has real soul or spirit or meaning, guests can feel it. People sense the thoughtfulness and sincerity.”
Biggest Challenge: “There is always something to do and I love what I do, so balancing enough private personal time with work.”
—Chad Kaydo