Montblanc has just unveiled a new global concept for its stores, created by renowned French designer Noé Duchaufour-Lawrance. Starting with a few boutiques in the Far East, the German brand will take the concept home, refitting its Hamburg boutique with the new design before gradually rolling it out to Montblanc's 500-plus worldwide retail points.
Sophisticated and immersive, the new retail concept is as representative of Montblanc’s refined luxury and craftsmanship as much as it is of Duchaufour-Lawrance’s design language. Over the course of two years, Duchaufour-Lawrance and his team distilled the brand into a series of visual features that bring to life Montblanc’s offering. ‘By the end, my team was speaking Montblanc,’ he jokes.
The French designer and his team looked at the core of the brand, identifying in Montblanc’s writing tradition the key to their past and future. The language he created is supported by black and white elements, respectively representing lacquer and textured paper, which exemplify the company’s signature black pens and the art of writing. Sinuous lines are punctuated by more geometric elements, creating a movement within the stores which is very much like the brand itself; focusing on a variety of products that include the writing instruments as well as watches, jewellery, stationery and leather goods, each with its own dedicated display within the concept.
Duchaufour-Lawrance’s design soul also comes to life through the use of recurring elements that appear throughout his wider design work: the discreet curves, the sapient combination of materials, the wood and brass furniture elements used as displays and the overall organic feel of the space are quintessential details of his creations, distilled here into an overarching new language.
‘Furniture is a kind of prolongation of the story,’ he notes. ‘Space and furniture are really connected; the space is a result of the furniture. That's why I almost put together furniture and interior design, because I believe that as soon as you have a table with eight chairs around it, you create a space. And furniture is the ultimate thing a designer can do.’
The spaces will form a fitting new global home for the brand, Duchaufour-Lawrance creating a language that Montblanc will be able to evolve over time.
‘Our latest retail space reflects the Maison’s quest for purposeful and aesthetic innovation,’ says the company’s CEO Jérôme Lambert. ‘It embodies the Montblanc of today and the vision of tomorrow, as the Maison continues to push boundaries of technology and design.’
Rosa Bertoli was born in Udine, Italy, and now lives in London. Since 2014, she has been the Design Editor of Wallpaper*, where she oversees design content for the print and online editions, as well as special editorial projects. Through her role at Wallpaper*, she has written extensively about all areas of design. Rosa has been speaker and moderator for various design talks and conferences including London Craft Week, Maison & Objet, The Italian Cultural Institute (London), Clippings, Zaha Hadid Design, Kartell and Frieze Art Fair. Rosa has been on judging panels for the Chart Architecture Award, the Dutch Design Awards and the DesignGuild Marks. She has written for numerous English and Italian language publications, and worked as a content and communication consultant for fashion and design brands.
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