Montblanc has tapped seasoned leather-based items designer Marco Tomasetta as its new artistic director, WWD has realized.
Nicolas Baretzki, Montblanc’s chief government officer, confirmed his appointment in an unique interview and mentioned Tomasetta would assist speed up the model’s transformation right into a “luxurious business-lifestyle maison.”
Tomasetta begins March 1 and can oversee design groups in Hamburg, Germany, for writing devices; Villeret and Le Locle, Switzerland, for timepieces, and Florence, Italy, for leather-based items.
Baretzki described a extra “international artistic imaginative and prescient” and “overarching model themes” moderately than a “silo-ed, class method” for the German luxurious model, which in recent times additionally ventured into private tech with smartwatches, headphones and different digital gadgets.
Tomasetta is to succeed Zaim Kamal, Montblanc’s artistic director since 2013.
An official announcement from Richemont is anticipated as early as right this moment.
A graduate of Istituto Europeo di Design in Milan, Tomasetta can be primarily based in Paris, however will shuttle round Europe, given Montblanc’s numerous design and manufacturing websites.
The Italian-born designer was most lately artistic design director, males’s and ladies’s leather-based items, at Givenchy, and he has additionally labored at Prada, Chloé and Louis Vuitton, racking up a slew of purse patents.
In keeping with Baretzki, leather-based items will play a “vital position” within the model’s transformation and “the expertise of Marco in that area can be instrumental.”
Additionally, “right this moment at Montblanc, about half of our prospects are feminine, even when they don’t seem to be all the time shopping for for themselves,” he mentioned, lauding Tomasetta’s expertise throughout males’s and ladies’s equipment.
“As a designer, writing and drawing are the beginning factors of any design course of, which is why I used to be instantly drawn to Montblanc,” Tomasetta commented.
Montblanc signaled its new brand-driven method final fall with its international marketing campaign “What Strikes You, Makes You.” It options filmmaker Spike Lee, actor Taron Egerton and singer, actor and author Chen Kun in 60-second movies that mirror how the best way individuals work and measure their success is altering.
Baretzki hinted that its buyer expertise would additionally evolve in tandem with the brand new method. Montblanc operates near 300 boutiques on this planet, with attain throughout Europe, Asia and North and South America.
Whereas he declined to debate enterprise specifics, he famous Montblanc demonstrated resilience with its iconic merchandise throughout the pandemic, thanks additionally to the power of its e-commerce channel, which features a boutique on Alibaba’s Tmall that opened early in 2020.
It’s understood every of its core merchandise — writing devices, timepieces, leather-based items and now private tech — generates substantial enterprise in all areas.
Based in 1906, Montblanc is known for its snowcap emblem primarily based on the famed Swiss mountain peak, which is discovered on merchandise starting from cellphone covers and enterprise instances to its cigar-shaped pens, whose diamond-studded particular editions can retail for greater than 1 million euros. The model additionally markets sun shades, fragrances, jewellery, belts and different private and desk equipment.
Tomasetta’s first designs for Montblanc ought to attain the market on the finish of the 12 months.
Montblanc is a part of Compagnie Financière Richemont, finest recognized for Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels and a clutch of elite Swiss watch manufacturers together with A. Lange & Söhne, IWC Schaffhausen, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Panerai and Vacheron Constantin.
The design appointment at Montblanc caps an extended checklist of artistic adjustments at Richemont’s vogue and equipment division.
Earlier this month, Maison Alaïa mentioned it has recruited Pieter Mulier — the longtime proper hand of designer Raf Simons — as its new artistic director, nudging the home away from rehashes of its archival designs the previous few years.
That appointment got here lower than two months after Chloé named Gabriela Hearst its new artistic director. The buzzy American designer, prized for her sustainability credentials and luxurious stylish, is anticipated to indicate her first Chloé assortment on March 3 throughout Paris Vogue Week.
And in January throughout couture week in Paris, AZ Manufacturing unit, a enterprise between Richemont and designer Alber Elbaz, unveiled its first designs and put them on the market on-line.
In the meantime, hypothesis continues to burble in Europe that Richemont might be behind a comeback mission for designer Phoebe Philo, who is alleged to have remained buddies with Richemont chairman Johann Rupert since her Chloé days. WWD first reported in February 2020 that Philo was recruiting designers for a brand new vogue mission, however she has remained mum on the topic and under the radar.
Richemont’s different vogue and equipment manufacturers embrace Dunhill — making a comeback to London Vogue Week on Feb. 23 — together with Peter Millar, Purdey and Serapian.