While many humanitarian collaborations are short-lived, the Montblanc UNICEF partnership stretches over 13 years. Their latest campaign #PassItOn aims to improve the learning conditions of over 5 million children around the world by providing learning materials and quality teaching. The timeless artisan launched their newest UNICEF collection in South Africa at the elegant Four Seasons Hotel at The Westcliff in Johannesburg last week.
WCIA sat down to talk to Eric Vegnes (President, Montblanc Middle East, Africa and India) and the splendid Stephanie Deighton (Regional MD, Montblanc Dubai) to discuss Montblanc’s ongoing partnership with UNICEF in support of child literacy and education programs around the world. Their new limited-edition collection celebrates the gift of writing. As Eric says “their commitment is life-long” and has been so successful that the luxury maison has been able to donate more than 10 Million US Dollars to date. Children have been granted education and protection because of the collaboration, and the maison will continue to make a difference in children’s lives for as long as it’s necessary.
The Montblanc vision incorporates the idea that luxury writing instruments co-exist with the visual pleasure of fine art. Eric showed me the iconic writing instrument; The Meisterstück which is included in the UNICEF collection. It is aesthetically pleasing – not only in design, but in functionality and detail. The goods launched for the campaign conceptually plays with the notion of the alphabet, as learning it is the first step to take when learning to write. The pen intricately displays the first letters of the alphabet in six different languages which was inspired the The Rosetta Stone. “When you purchase a piece from the collection you are allowing children to have access to a new field of knowledge”, Eric says.
The launch evening was nothing short of chic and was the perfect setting to welcome the collection in South Africa. We were even treated to a short, impromptu performance by UNICEF ambassador, Yvonne Chaka Chaka. The rest of the UNICEF collection consists of luxury watches, rich, leather goods and fancy augmented paper sets. The backpacks are to die for and everyone needs one!
We were also privileged to have an exclusive sit down with the very animated, Giacomo Cortesi (MD Leather Division). Cortesi says the secret to success in the maison’s leather products is the attention to detail and mix of culture, creativity and craftsmanship in the production of goods. The pieces are subtly detailed and creatively fuses the alphabet concept in the entire range. Elements of comfort and quality is seen throughout the collection. The classic leather collection stretches its aesthetic to please anyone’s eye – the traditional fashion house is expanding their full leather collection by incorporating bright colours and functional products. Cortesi notes that many of their buyers are women – even though they predominately buy products created for men. The androgynous collection speaks volumes about society and a generation of luxury customers who want one thing only, and that is quality.
The collection is fused with functionality, comfort and luxury and what is luxury if it’s not comfortable. You can shop all the items straight from the Montblanc website – make a difference today and pass on the gift of writing.