Ong Chin Huat visits Montblanc’s brand new concept store in Kuala Lumpur City Centre and is suitably impressed with its new immersive retail experience
A brand new boutique was recently unveiled by Maison Montblanc in the heart of Kuala Lumpur at the prestigious Suria KLCC Mall. The new concept store in Kuala Lumpur is the eighth in the world, the first one being the boutique in Taipei 101, which incorporates contemporary design elements intertwined with classical features reflecting the ethos of Montblanc which promotes a pioneering spirit yet adhering to its masterful traditional craftsmanship.
Designed by French interior designer, Noé Duchaufour-Lawrance, the overall colour scheme of black and white is warmed by touched of wood with the interplay of hard modern materials contrasting with softer more organic materials.
“Reflecting the Maison’s constant quest for purposeful and aesthetic innovations, our latest retail space embodies the Montblanc of today, and the vision of tomorrow as the Maison continues to push the boundaries of technology and design,” said Jérôme Lambert, CEO Montblanc International.
With the starting point for this new boutique concept is the cursive handwriting, a natural association with Montblanc as its iconic fountain pens have gain international recognition as one of the best in the world. The snow cap of the Mont Blanc is the emblem for the store and a jet of ink depicted across large screens on the black lacquered walls add the distinctive flair.
The boutique is divided into areas which are dedicated to each product category offered by Montblanc. There’s the Gallery Table which showcases the watches and an interactive screen which gives the customer an immersive experience of the different models on offer.
At the rear of the boutique, there’s the Manufacture Bar where customers can test out the different pens, nibs and inks offered by Montblanc. A digital corner enables customers to test the ScreenWriter editions and a Collector’s Corner offers collectors a chance to view limited editions. A Leather Atelier incorporates a sensory experience where customers can touch and feel the leather products while a Collector’s Lounge is a cosy place for bespoke and customised services are on offer.
According to Julien Renard, the President of Montblanc Asia Pacific, the plan is now for Montblanc to eventually renovate all their stores in the region and the world into his new concept. “The feedback we get is extremely positive not just from the customer’s perspective but also from the landlord, so now it’s time to roll this new concept out to our remaining stores.”
Renard says similarity is design and concept in all the stores is important because it is the image of the brand. “Consistency and identity is important around the world as we are a global brand. People are travelling all over the world and the store, image, product and service for Montblanc has to be standardised.” He adds that with the new concept store, the store looks more welcoming and this hopefully results in better sales. “Our lady customers feel more comfortable in this new design and a big part of our traffic is from our lady customers.”
To coincide with the launch of this new concept store and to celebrate its 110th anniversary, Montblanc also re-launches one of the first products it created in the early 20th century, the Montblanc Heritage Collection Rouge & Noir Special Edition and Limited Edition 1906.
The original “Rouge et Noir” was Montblanc’s very first fountain pen series launched in 1909 and made from black ebonite with a red cap top and was inspired by the famous novel by the same name by Stendhal.
In its latest reincarnation, Montblanc Heritage Collection Rouge & Noir combines the pioneering spirit with a vintage look while incorporating a modern twist to the original version with a slimmer and longer silhouette as well as a modern piston technology. A sensual serpent coils around the top of the cap and slithers down its length to become a clip.
The Special Edition is crafted from precious black resin and lacquer with the historical Montblanc logo engraved on the cap’s side. The Limited Edition on the other hand is made from hard rubber, a material that was once one of the only viable and available materials Montblanc could obtain to make their fountain pens. With a limited edition of 1906, the year Montblanc was founded, the cap and barrel is made from ebonite, a material which contains natural rubber with sulphur and linseed oil used in a model from 1909 and still manufactured according to a traditional process.
Montblanc Kuala Lumpur – Where and how
Montblanc Boutique Suria KLCC
Lot 131-132, Level 1,
Kuala Lumpur City Centre
50088 Kuala Lumpur,
Phone: +60 3-2166 2886
For further information, please visit www.montblanc.com