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Adrien Brody, Penn Badgley and Chloe Sevigny at the Montblanc party in New York

They are magical places of inspiration, knowledge, silence and discovery. And never before have they been under siege, especially in American society, where books are banned and where culture must fight against ideology. It is therefore even more significant the choice of Montblanc to pay homage to libraries, with a move that looks to the future but at the same time reconnects to the primary and profound meaning of the origins of the maison. And it is even more significant that after Milan and London the third stage of the new campaign The Library Spirit both New York.

Adrien Brody

Montblanc

Seen in a thousand films, the romantic background of a thousand love stories no matter how they end (this is where Carrie Bradshaw should marry Mr Big in style in the first film Sex & The City), the New York Public Library it is an iconic place of the city’s cultural life, so much so that a few months ago the announcement by mayor Eric Adams to cut funding for bookshops, compromising their opening on weekends, was greeted by so many protests that the mayor had to march backwards.

The historic Beaux-Art style building located in Midtown and which houses a vast collection of books and maps and is also home to the famous Rose Main Reading Room, is in fact one of the two locations chosen for the campaign. The other is a loft in the West Village – Donna Karan’s former home, some say – spectacularly and elegantly furnished with 20-foot ceilings and two walls of windows overlooking a sculpture garden. It is right here, in this modern but at the same time old European place, that the presentation event took place last Wednesday, in an intimate and warm atmosphere, among rigorously real books and celebrities who made sense with respect to the brand.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – SEPTEMBER 06: Chloë Sevigny attends The Montblanc “Library Spirit: Episodes From Around The World” NYC Launch Event at Stephan Weiss Studios on September 06, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Mark Sagliocco/Getty Images for Montblanc )

Mark Sagliocco/Getty Images

One name above all: Adrien Brodyone of the most intellectual actors in Hollywood, but also Penn Badgleyalready the protagonist of Gossip Girl but also the series on Netflix You where, coincidentally, he plays the director of a delightful New York bookshop, Joe Goldberg (we’ll find out later how diabolical he is). And what about Chloe Sevigny? All dressed in gold, a vision, just like Dree Louise Hemingway who, yes, is a relative and therefore rightfully among the books. Everyone lined up to have their notebooks personalized by Ian Sullivan, an artist and illustrator who creates magic with white marker. «I love New York, its libraries and also its book shops: walking here is like immersing yourself in an ocean of limitless energy and creativity and it is also the home of one of the writers who influenced me the most, Truman Capote», tells Marco Tomasettaartistic director of Montblanc since 2021, a man who comes from fashion, but with a Renaissance soul, an avid reader since childhood, someone who discovered Virginia Wolf at ten years old, he says laughing.

Penn Badgley

«I read and write constantly, I take notes, I draw. If I were to think of a book of my own, I would imagine something like Frida Khalo’s diary, where words alternate with drawings”, he says, sitting on a chair with the gigantic bookcase behind him that also appears in the campaign. «This episode of The Library Spirit has a particular charm, because the philosophy of the maison has much in common with that of New York: the pioneering spirit that fuels Montblanc’s innovative process is the same that pushes New Yorkers to define new standards with courageous and original ideas, and this makes the perfect place for the collection Extreme 3.0». Going further, we could say that it is from libraries – from how they are managed, attended, cared for, respected – that we understand the level of civilization of a society. A concept that Tomasetta agrees with: «Libraries and bookshops offer a fascinating glimpse into the soul of a city, a country, a culture. They are places of revelation, inspiration and creativity, where stories find refuge and ideas are carefully guarded waiting to be discovered or rediscovered. This campaign took us all over the world because, even if words have a universal power, each city undergoes different influences, which find expression in libraries.”

DJ Peggy Gou

Mark Sagliocco/Getty Images

Stella Maxwell

Mark Sagliocco/Getty Images

Books as a very powerful and revolutionary medium. Positioned in this context, even the objects acquire organicity: the protagonist of this final episode of the campaign is the leather goods collection Extreme 3.0whose distinctive feature remains the printed leather with the motif inspired by the images of Grete Gross, Montblanc’s advertising manager who profoundly influenced the visual language of the maison in the 1920s. Rational and geometric, her graphic style was a direct reference to the Bauhaus movement. «The leather in the collection is an example of a written leather, engraved with writing, inspired by a diary that I found in the archive full of signs made to test the Meisterstück» explains Tomasetta. The logo is therefore not a logo, but a skin put to the test by writing.” Enriched with new accessories – the fineliner writing instrument StarWalker SpaceBlue Metalthe timepiece 1858 Iced Sea Gray Dial and the new in-ear headphones MTB 03 – and in new shades – fern blue, British green, wrought iron gray – the collection has all the characteristics to become a new classic, perfectly fitting into the trend of quiet luxury which is now very popular, that is, a luxury that doesn’t show off, exactly like culture doesn’t show off: it just transpires, and when it’s there you can see it.

Liya Kebede

Mark Sagliocco/Getty Images

The collection Extreme 3.0 by Montblanc

Source: Vanity Fair

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