Two years have passed since the arrival of Jérôme Lambert as CEO of Montblanc. The new CEO has already implemented many of the changes he had in mind for this German company of the Richemont Group. His strategy to rejuvenate the company has left a mark in the product, in the celerity to make decisions and in the financial results, which are beginning to reflect a transition to becoming a modern luxury company. The changes also apply to the stores, which clearly show a magnificent transformation.
New Montblanc store design.
“Reflecting the constant search for useful and aesthetic innovations, the new space embodies today’s Montblanc and its vision for the future as a company that continues to push the boundaries of technology and design,” said Lambert, who selected French designer Noé Duchaufour-Lawrance— who has worked for Paco Rabanne, Perrier Jouet, Baccarat and Swarovski—to be in charge of the renovation.
In 1919, Montblanc opened its first boutique in Hamburg, Germany, in partnership with a merchant. A store that only sold fountain pens was a novel idea. Since then the brand has spread to strategic locations to become one of the largest trading networks of luxury merchandise, with over 500 shops and 3,000 outlets throughout the world.
The new Montblanc boutiques boast a pure and uncluttered sense of aesthetics, combining black & white furnishings and wood. Three main themes related to the origins of the firm were used in the design. The starting point is the cursive writing associated with Montblanc fountain pens. The curved details that shape the space evoke calligraphy and the art of writing.
The firm’s emblem, inspired by the summit of the snow-capped Mont Blanc, the highest mountain in the European Union, is combined with ink strokes to represent the life and spirit of the brand.
In the boutique’s interior— next to the black lacquered panels that cover the walls—large screens show an artistic fantasy of flowing animated ink. This living work of art brings to mind the dynamic history of the company. The third element is the passion for craftsmanship, which has marked the firm’s long history and is clearly displayed through the structured architecture and the use of dark wood. The designers found inspiration in the wooden furniture used by craftsmen to translate their skills into each of the articles the company manufactures—watches, writing instruments, jewelry and leather goods.
Stylish furnishings and warm wood accents at the new Montblanc shop.
The furniture, designed by Duchaufour-Lawrance, is reminiscent of the Art Nouveau era that saw the birth of Montblanc, but with a contemporary twist. The careful selection of materials express Montblanc’s European code of elegance and artisan spirit and serve to identify each category. Thus, the art of watchmaking comes to life through the use of bright brass, leather and wood; these materials reflect the artisan’s ability to work with leather; and lacquer and fine metals are used for writing instruments and jewelry.
The first new Montblanc concept store will open in Taipei (Taiwan), followed by the opening of other stores around the world in the coming months. Review here Montblanc’s latest products, including desk sets and men’s fashion accessories. ■