Montblanc is a diverse house, with plenty of room to explore. And after a year of being its Creative Director, Marco Tomasetta lets us in on what makes the brand work and where it’s going in the future.
Marco Tomasetta has been around the luxury block more than a few times. Having spent time in Prada, Chloé, Louis Vuitton, and as the Creative Design Director of Men’s and Women’s Leather Goods at Givenchy, it’s very likely that you’ve already seen his work by now.
It’s these experiences that have led him to his current position. Marco was named the Creative Director of Montblanc last year, taking his spot as the creative mind on the White Mountain. In that time, we’ve seen the brand come up with some remarkable things, including the UltraBlack collection headlined by actor Cillian Murphy and DJ Peggy Gou.
Featuring an all-black lineup, the collection was a statement from Montblanc. It was a play on one of their emblematic colors: both timeless and modern, at once eternal and of-the-moment.
More recently, the house released the new Meisterstück Leather Collection, which placed a good amount of focus on details and structure while remaining firmly in the Montblanc design ethos.
But Montblanc is a highly diverse house, leaving a huge amount of room to explore. And sure, it might be known as the business luxury maison, but we’ve seen it come up with some largely out-of-the-box things in the past: fantastic writing instruments based on different personalities; bags and small leather goods with quite a bit of subtly delivered attitude; and of course, whimsical watches such as the Metamorphosis series and the Vasco da Gama collection.
Marco’s run has only just begun, and here he talks to us about where the brand is headed, what new ideas he’s introducing to the table, as well as what he thinks of designing for the current times.
*some parts have been edited for brevity
Aurelio: The new Meisterstück Leather Collection looks incredible. We love the detail on the small leather goods and the structure of the messenger. Can you discuss the idea behind the range?
Marco: Thank you, and I am very glad you like the collection and the work that was put into the detailing. Core to the idea was the opportunity to bring the design of the collection even closer to Montblanc’s iconic symbol of timeless luxury—the Meisterstück writing instrument.
No other brand has been as influential in the culture of writing, and it made sense to really lean into that. We explored mirroring some of the writing instrument’s distinguishing features like the nib itself as well as the colour and shine of the pen’s precious resin with its smooth sensual touch. This resulted in a luxurious new leather to achieve a softer touch and a deeper tone of black with a distinctive brilliant finish inspired by the texture of the pen’s precious resin.
We created a new larger emblem inspired by the original writing instrument logo. The nib has inspired new leather detailing as well as the zip pulls. We have also designed new contemporary round shapes and formats, ensuring these pieces have real functional value beyond their aesthetic appeal.
Aurelio: Under your creative guidance, where do you plan to take Montblanc? What are the concepts that you wish to explore?
Marco: The brand has been on such an exciting journey, I just want to take it to new heights, by engaging new Montblanc customers with bold and intentional designs. Building new icons and innovating new brand codes to create desirability. To be part of these new customers’ lives, we must think about developing functional products that really serve their daily lives.
The brand is very conscious about helping people leave a mark in the world while minimizing their imprint on the planet, so sustainability has a significant focus for the road ahead. The future of the Maison is to continue finding ways to inspire people to leave their mark on the world by doing what they love, and what truly matters to them.
I want to keep pushing the spirit of innovation that has been driving the Maison forward all these years, and create an exciting and desirable identity for new Montblanc customers. I have been spending a lot of time immersed in the Montblanc archives, identifying new sources of inspiration for upcoming collections so you will have to watch this space!
Aurelio: What are your personal concerns for designing during these times? How does Montblanc appeal to the current consumer?
Marco: As a company that that has always achieved that smart balance of innovation and tradition, Montblanc understands that the needs of its customers and their lifestyles evolve. We must be flexible, forward looking, and purposeful. This has become even more important to our customers in the past two years as we have seen a significant shift in how they live, how they work, how they play.
We are focused on creating pieces that matter to them, not just aesthetically but functionally so we have been exploring new formats, functions and materials in our products. We have introduced emerging technologies in recent years that mirror the blurring of digital and physical, and we are increasingly focused on more eco-conscious options as this has become a big priority to our customers and to our business. Montblanc has successfully navigated rapid change for over 115 years, it’s in the brand’s DNA.