Face Time with Montblanc’s Marco Tomasetta
The German luxury house has scored with a new creative director – a lavish new luxury focus that elevates its appeal in both form and function.
Meet the man steering Montblanc into a bold new era.
A staple of hyper-modern airport terminals and immaculate European cities, Montblanc’s products have for decades been a bastion of subtle, dependable style.
You knew what you were getting with Montblanc — a timeless companion that for the most sat within its impressive ownership of writing materials that date to the German label’s founding in 1906.
To write a modern narrative is to evolve. And it’s here that Montblanc has elevated its horological endeavours — this year’s 1858 Unveiled Timekeeper Minerva Limited Edition an incredibly impressive piece. And, at $91,000 a piece that speaks of the rethink taking place.
Still, its newfound accessories lines – collections streamlined; designs simplified and sharpened in visual and functional allure – that has awoken those (ourselves amongst the key observers) as to the heady and exciting road of future luxury that Montblanc has started to travel down.
This journey began in 2021 with the appointment of Marco Tomasetta — who spent years designing the leather goods at Prada and Givenchy — to lead the German house’s creative direction.
The goal, as the brand confidently announced at the time, was to take Montblanc from another wedged within high-end department stores into a ‘luxury business-lifestyle maison.’
It’s fair to suggest that Montblanc is a brand whose history and heritage is often lost in the pristine steel that makes up its peerless pens. While there remains an intrepid air – a feeling forged over years of the house making watches and travel companions for some of the world’s most seasoned explorers – you could argue its messaging was siloed in certain areas.
Today, the focus is more holistic, drawing upon every facet of the brand’s heritage to inform all its modern design choices. Cue that aforementioned timepiece, so too Tomasetta’s first major imprint on the brand: the debut of a new Meisterstück Leather, informed by the inky resin used in the brand’s most coveted pens.
“The aim was to bring the design of the collection even closer to Montblanc’s iconic symbol of timeless luxury—the Meisterstück writing instrument,” Tomasetta has said.
Now, Tomasetta’s focus is channelling that all-encompassing philosophy into a line of elevated leather goods and luggage, designed not just to provide an air of understated luxury and precision that the brand’s most loyal customers know and love, but endear itself to a generation perhaps more inclined towards the brands the Italian designer used to work for.
The result was Tomasetta’s first full line of leather goods for the brand, released late last year and dubbed ‘Extreme 3.0’, providing a fresh twist on Montblanc’s staple pieces aimed at capturing the imaginations of younger consumers. Gender-neutrality is at the core of Montblanc’s new vision, as is luxurious practicality. A new signature embossment pattern on the leather is perhaps Tomasetta’s most visually arresting innovation so far.
“This new collection connects with the younger generation, while also keeping the ritual of Montblanc’s older clients alive,” Tomasetta has said. “The young love to express themselves and communicate through fashion, bags, and shoes. I want Montblanc’s young clients to express themselves through our creations, to bring a unique dimension and leave a mark through their style.”
This is immediately apparent looking at the brand’s latest collection, ‘Library Spirit’. As the name suggests, it takes inspiration from the mystique and grace contained within the world’s most historic libraries, taking cues from the reading and writing rooms of New York’s iconic Public Library. Once again, the written word is a theme that prevails throughout the collection.
Compared to the Meisterstück collection that formed Tomasetta’s debut, what immediately stands out about the collection is its embrace of colour and texture. Gone are the inky blacks and fine-grained leathers we’ve all come to associate with Montblanc’s leather goods (of course, these are still available if you’re after something more timeless). Rather, textured leather and bright pops of blue stand out against a glossy black and an eye-catching lighter shade of grey.
The branding itself, as ever, is minimal, but there’s certainly more than enough to catch the eye when you pop it onto the table over dinner. After all, in an increasingly competitive leather market, that’s simply how you stand out, and with Tomasetto at the helm, those expecting Montblanc to continue lurking on the periphery are in for quite an awakening.
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