Exclusive: Montblanc Heightens Its Possibilities With New ‘Sartorial’ Collection

Artistic Director Marco Tomasetta discusses how the extensive new accessories range fuses creativity with classicism

As Montblanc continues to develop its leather goods collections, the latest example of this continual evolution shows a new dimension to its classic business collection. The newly launched and redesigned Montblanc Sartorial Collection invites longtime users and newcomers of the Montblanc brand to rediscover the many facets of its DNA, as leather bags and smaller accessories become part of an introduction to a modularity system that allows small pieces to be attached to larger bags – creating new forms of functionality, with styling options that see many possibilities.

Courtesy of Montblanc

Now exactly two years since Marco Tomasetta’s appointment to the brand and the house’s transformation under his magic wand, Montblanc is undergoing a visual and contextual revitalization that aims to attract even the youngest of creatives to channel their artistic side through the power of writing. Having worked for renowned fashion houses including Prada, Chloé and Louis Vuitton (most recently being the Creative Design Director of Men’s and Women’s Leather Goods at Givenchy), Tomasetta’s expertise in the realm of leather and accessories sees its apex in the newest line for the German luxury goods label.

To learn more about the house’s latest collection and campaign, V’s Digital Editor Kevin Ponce chatted with Montblanc’s Artistic Director about all things leather, libraries, and preserving the art of writing.

Courtesy of Montblanc

Kevin Ponce: With the launch of this leather collection, I feel like it’s an exciting time because now the brand is expanding more and more. What did the beginning process of the new leather Sartorial collection look like and were there any elements that you wanted to spotlight with this specific launch?

Marco Tomasetta: The Sartorial collection is a nostalgic collection, which takes inspiration from the icons of men’s fashion and also women’s fashion. I worked on what is a universal concept, which I believe has a beautiful, sartorial dimension–working on iconic shapes to sort of entice young people to get into the brand. What I try to do is to use new shapes to revive the brand, make it iconic, and appeal to the younger generation. So I worked on modularity in my collection, including shapes that are classic, and modern, but also have some sort of function and incorporate new materials and colors that can be matched to different seasons. I wanted to bring the collection close to the world and to the people of today for what we do with our devices, as we have pouches for smartphones, for laptops. I wanted to extend the line and the brand this way. I’m using the word classic, but I really would like to replace classic with iconic. 

Courtesy of Montblanc

KP: I want to talk about the leather itself, as it’s a topic that I take interest in deeply. I was thrilled to hear that the creation of leather pieces for Montblanc is done in Florence, which as we all know is the haven for exquisite leather. Having first done leather accessories in 1926, did you find the task of elevating and evolving the leather for the brand to be challenging?

MT: Leather has a very long and important history within Montblanc, developing leather accessories and devices to protect precious writing tools. We are fascinated by leather and we see it as being the same as fashion. We use fashion to cover and protect our bodies, and that same notion was applied to our writing tools. When doing research in the archive of Montblanc, I found these aspects of soft and sensual leather in the pieces and I wanted to renew that image and bring a new identity. Everything is soft and silky, smooth and polished, those were our elements of inspiration. Then I developed some grain for the leather. Thinking about the grain like a pattern that you can find in nature. I thought about the mountains, I thought about tree trunks, and I tried to bring those elements to the collection. Nature was the base from where I developed the concept to the max.

Courtesy of Montblanc

KP: I like the approach of infusing a bit of natural inspiration into something that people wouldn’t expect otherwise because leather is a natural texture. It comes from nature, it is nature, and it will always be part of nature, so I think that’s really cool. This leather category is another chapter after your appointment to the brand just a few years ago. Can we consider this collection a peek into your vision for what is to come next within this leather category? Because so far we’re seeing more developed accessories, but I wonder if there’s anything else that can be built upon it?

MT: With the latest campaign that I presented to the fashion world, there is a picture that is so important to me which I believe to be iconic for Montblanc. (See below) This picture to me is the very heart of the campaign because we are pushing more than just products–It is a mood. It is a certain dimension that is seen in the ‘Library Spirit’ campaign. I want to involve the younger generation and to involve young creators and artists in our world. We tend to have our eyes glued to our devices, to our smartphones, and to social media. But for me, a library itself brings a sense of intimacy and reflection–that is what Montblanc is doing now. Montblanc is part of a meditative moment in your day where you can read, write, think, and take a step away from your devices. 

Courtesy of Montblanc

KP: It’s an interesting point of connection to make, as most of the newer generation rarely enter libraries anymore since everything is digitized now. But libraries will always serve as reminders of the art of writing and self-exploration with words.

MT: This image [from the campaign] is my vision–this impact, this intimacy is what we are trying to rediscover. I would like to appeal to the readers, writers, artists, musicians, and film directors out there. I want them to take a step back, reflect, and then go out and create maybe using new means such as social media. An opportunity where one can create intimacy and go out in the world, travel, and discover maybe libraries and other places of beauty, culture, and art. That is what artists should be doing. I believe the reality that surrounds us is very important, especially in many cities in the world. Montblanc has such a long heritage that is tied to writers and to the art of writing. In Italy, we have beautiful old libraries, even the Vatican libraries are safekeeping books that are from ages ago to preserve the universal cultural heritage in many topics apart from religion.

Marco Tomasetta | Courtesy of Montblanc

[cont..] I believe that writing shapes our history, and our reality in a way–it is a very strong, powerful tool that lasts through time. I visited several museums and libraries around the world that are tied to the art of writing, and to writers and their tools. Writing makes our lives timeless and there is an eternal dimension linked to writing. Humans have preserved texts that date back thousands of years ago and have lasted through time. I personally am sick to be confined to the space of my smartphone. I want my emotions to have an outlet and writing gives me back a sense of intimacy. This is what I feel and this is the feeling that I would like to give to Montblanc users. 

The Montblanc Sartorial Collection is available now in Montblanc boutiques and at Montblanc.com.

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