Inside Cartier’s Studio 7 exhibition in London – WWD
LONDON – Cartier has always been known as an extraordinary host, and now that London is slowly coming back to life, he is making a comeback in the social circuit.
His latest concept is Studio 7, an interactive photographic exhibition that looks at the house’s seven most famous styles through jewelry and watches: Santos, Tank, Trinity, Love, Juste Un Clou, Panthère and Ballon Bleu.
The show builds on a global Cartier campaign that highlights its iconic creations. This is a timely move, as consumers collectively move away from fleeting trends to look to heritage classics.
“In today’s environment, when you face a time of uncertainty and think about your life, people come back to core values. From a health standpoint, this can mean thinking about what you eat and how much exercise you do. In the luxury world, there is a tendency to go back to core values, core brands and core designs, ”said Laurent Feniou, CEO of Cartier UK, in an interview.
“We are part of this extremely small group of companies with such a heritage and have, not one, but a group of icons that still resonate today. So it made sense to showcase them all together in this exhibition and add our original touch. “
The exhibition, spread across four halls of the Saatchi Gallery in Chelsea, aims to highlight the enduring appeal of these designs by showcasing them to celebrities, brand friends and customers over the years.
The first gallery features a series of historic black and white portraits – Andy Warhol with her Tank watch, Jean Cocteau and her Trinity ring, Tina Turner with her Love bracelet – alongside some of the early iterations of the models. There is a Santos watch from 1916, and one of the first Love bracelets from 1969.
A second gallery focuses on the present, with a series of new portraits by Mary McCartney featuring modern day brand ambassadors and friends in a Cartier design of their choice.
Intimate black and white images are projected onto a floor-to-ceiling screen “for a full immersive experience.” McCartney captured actresses Emma Corin and Vanessa Kirby; boxer Ramla Ali; milliner Stephen Jones; and director and actor David Oyelowo.
“We are completely inspired by these photos and they magnify this link between past and present. Just as we have created these legends in the past, we wanted to replicate this for today and create new memories, ”added Feniou, who always seeks to build long-term relationships with talent and capture“ the icons of talent. ‘today “.
Showcasing the famous friends of the house was not Cartier’s only priority. The brand also worked with McCartney to set up a makeshift photographic studio within the gallery where customers can come wear their own Cartier pieces and have their photos taken by emerging photographers who have been handpicked and framed. by McCartney.
These portraits will then be exhibited in a mobile device in the fourth and final gallery of the exhibition.
“It was really important to make this attractive to our important clients and to make sure that they could see each other in the exhibition,” Feniou said, adding that he also saw an opportunity to meet for the first time the The company’s growing community of online customers.
“In a way, they’re already connected with us, but they’re only connected digitally. We want them to physically participate in some of our events, which does not necessarily mean that they come to the store.
Feniou added that Cartier creations foster a sense of familiarity which, during the pandemic, has resulted in strong online sales.
Cartier was a relatively early follower of online sales, with very successful launches on Net-a-porter, its sister company from the Richemont team, and via its own e-start platform.
According to Feniou, the early move to go live meant the team was “well prepared for the changes” imposed by the pandemic, with sellers quickly shifting to the realm of virtual chat and a renewed focus on local customers.
“Virtual chats created sales back then, but they also created relationships, which can be built now that customers are back in stores,” he said, adding that since the reopening of London, the brand’s flagship product in Bond Street has seen fewer casual visitors and more appointments from customers who arrive prepared and spend more time in the store.
In the first quarter ended June 30, jewelry houses in Richemont, of which Cartier is the largest, recorded a 38% increase in revenue compared to the corresponding period of 2019, before the pandemic. At constant exchange rates, sales increased 43% to 2.52 billion pounds in the three-month period. Richemont’s jewelry portfolio includes Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels and Buccellati.