Living Life in Technicolour with Montblanc Creative Director Marco Tomasetta - Men's Folio
Lifestyle, Culture

Living Life in Technicolour with Montblanc Creative Director Marco Tomasetta

  • By Izwan Abdullah and Ben Kwok

Montblanc Creative Director Marco Tomasetta on 100 Years of the Meisterstück, and Living Life in Technicolour
Montblanc celebrates the 100th anniversary of its iconic Meisterstück writing instrument this year, and Men’s Folio speaks to Marco Tomasetta — Montblanc’s creative director — about his creative influences and vision for the future of Montblanc, as well as the special collaboration campaign directed by Wes Anderson.

In a world where trends are as transient as the wind, few things have been able to withstand the shifting sands of time as resolutely as Montblanc’s iconic and timeless writing instrument, the Meisterstück. Almost an institution in the world of writing as it is, the mainstay and platform upon which the Montblanc brand has evolved and grown celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. As part of the celebrations, Montblanc has partnered with renowned director Wes Anderson for a special campaign celebrating the writing instrument’s history and evolution across a century.

Montblanc Creative Director Marco Tomasetta on 100 Years of the Meisterstück, and Living Life in TechnicolourMen’s Folio managed to spend some time with Montblanc Creative Director Marco Tomasetta, who boasts a wealth of experience across luxury maisons, including Prada, Fendi, Louis Vuitton, and, most recently, Givenchy. He shares more about the collaboration with Anderson, where he derives his creative influence from, and what his creative vision for the Montblanc brand holds for the future of the German maison.

Firstly, congratulations on the 100th anniversary of the Meisterstück. What does it mean to be a part of such a legacy?
It’s a responsibility for me and the desire to propel for another 100 years and to continue with the technology of writing.

What significance does 100 years hold for you?
They are 100 years of arts and culture, 100 years in which this object has been in the hands of people who were able to change their own time.

How do you succeed in uncovering relevance within a brand with such a rich heritage?
I have a strong connection and dialogue with the archives in Hamburg, and also, being a part of this archive and travelling with it allows the writing to travel with me.

Congratulations on the new campaign! What was the inspiration behind partnering with Wes Anderson for the latest campaign?
It’s definitely driven by Wes Anderson’s desire to always target authenticity and peculiarity in his movie concepts. The most amazing thing I shared with Wes Anderson in this particular project was his world of colours and the palette of colours that he used. Colour is a very important milestone for Montblanc. Within the archives, these colours already existed in the 1950s and 1960s period that Wes Anderson faces in his movies. That was the relationship — the connection of colours.

How does film influence your creative process? And do you lean towards realism or abstraction in your approach?
I was born and raised in Italian cinema, which has a strong heritage in the new realism, and Wes Anderson is not that far away from this new realism that was typical of my upbringing. So if I was to watch a [Federico] Fellini movie — for example the very well-known La Strada (1954) — and put the colour of Wes Anderson in it, you could see a lot of directors today have the same feelings towards movies.

Since we’re talking about movies and film, if you could design something inspired by a fictional character, who would it be and why?
If I were to inspire something today, it would definitely be a character in writing because after 20 years in fashion, and since I’ve embraced the world of Montblanc, writing is the essence.

So I’d say that instead of a character that already exists, it’s almost like a feeling or perhaps inspired by the landscapes in the movies?
No, it’s inspired by writing itself, because that’s the world that I’m representing today. It goes back to the Wes Anderson project — they’re celebrating the hand and the writing. After meeting many of the artists I’ve always wanted to meet through these years, I’ve realised that the real interiority of these artists is their connection with writing. Besides the telephone and the obvious, their true connection with each other is through that relationship, that deep relationship with writing.

Back to you as a designer, how do you use design as a tool to communicate with your audience?
So, in design today, I strive to give people a space outside but, but also on the interior, where they can find their own space to use the item’s personality because the logo, the trademark, doesn’t change every day. In fact, as proof of that, the Meisterstück has never changed in 100 years. So we developed something different, but the inside, its heart, is still unchanged. I love it because it is strong, iconic, timeless, and powerful, and people can write things that will endure the passing of time.

Following that, now that Montblanc has expanded globally, how do you ensure that Montblanc’s designs resonate with a diverse global audience?
So, you know, Montblanc is, first and foremost, a symbol of writing. I can enter each culture all over the world through the tools of writing. It’s a universal symbol; that’s my passport; that’s the force of being able to enter all countries and unite them.

Do you have any memorable moments or challenges you’ve encountered as the creative director of Montblanc?
At the base of my creative thoughts is — first and foremost — the ability to fight with my ideas. Today, fighting for culture and beauty is a great motivation to live.

How does Montblanc engage with the next generation of designers and creatives, both within the company and through external collaborations?
When we’re able to convey what Montblanc is, people immediately fall in love with the Montblanc symbol and trademark, and they are united because they understand. So, for me, the future is culture and substance. These two elements will unite all of us in the future. 

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