Cartier wows Florence and Pitti Uomo with its savoir-faire
A grand affair is taking place in Florence with the participation of Cartier at this year's Pitti Uomo. The French jewellery and watch maison, owned by Swiss group Richemont, has taken an area in a historic palace in the heart of the Tuscan capital where, for three days, it will welcome special visitors, VIP clients and international press.
Cartier is taking the opportunity to present its new watch Drive (valued at 6,200 euros), which was unveiled in January in Geneva and has been available for purchase since April. It's the art of the living the French way that the luxury brand wants to particularly showcase at Pitti.
"Florence is a city of art, history and culture, while Pitti Uomo is the global event for men's fashion. Choice comes naturally to this place, which ideally reflects the values of the maison," the general director of Cartier Italy, François-Marc Sastre tells FashionMag.
"Italy is also historic and strategic watch market for Cartier, where we have five boutiques in Florence, Venice, Milan, Rome and Porto Cervo," he continues.
At the entrance of the Palazzo Gondi, an elegant Florentine palace from the 16th century, visitors are welcomed by a bellboy, much like a Cartier boutique, and a piano melody playing on the patio.
Inside, it's a case of being guided by curiosity, a glass of champagne in the hand, moving from level to level through of series of rooms, like a game, discovering the brand's luxury wares and then sauntering up to the roof terrace with stunning views of the city.
"They are exceptional pieces: leather goods and pens, as well as cufflinks, sunglasses and even board games (chess, etc.) Beautiful items designed to be used in everyday life, which lend themselves to different lifestyles. It's not our role to impose one particular style. We only wish to showcase our view of masculine elegance," explains Pierre Rainero, image and style director, Cartier.
To make the project happen, the brand called upon three "aesthetes": Italian artistic director Sergio Colantuoni, Greek illustrator Konstantin Kakanias and French interior designer Tristan Auer.
In playing with Cartier's historic references, the trio were able to create spaces that reflected the refined residence of a modern gentleman with elegance, lightness and a sense of humour.
So, the inside is covered with feature walls, such as a fireplace, on which sit the symbolic objects of Cartier, contemporary paintings from Picasso to Fontana, sketched in a few strokes of pen, and the portraits of the three founding brothers Louis, Pierre and Jacques Cartier.
Windows showcasing Cartier pieces fit perfectly in this setting.
Same for the dressing-room, full of secret drawers, where - nestled besides shirts and other men's accessories, sits a foosball table with mini-bellboys as a football .
In a closet sit five looks, designed to be the imaginary wardrobe of the five different men who'd wear the new Drive watch: a super chic astronaut, a businessman, a Parisian gardener, a modern biker, and a samurai dressed in a kimono partaking of tea.
Each day, Cartier will provide guests with music, cocktails, and samples of food and wine. A nice way of communicating luxury and the brand's DNA without appearing stuffy. Well played!
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