Interview with Cartier’s Communications Director Arnaud Carrez

Lara Mansour   |   11 - 09 - 2017

Cartier’s Marketing and Communications Director Arnaud Carrez talks about entering the new generation with the Re-launch of the Panthère. 

The times have changed at how we perceive luxury with more high-end brands looking at ways to engage new customers, while remaining true to their ethos. Cartier, one of the most iconic names in jewellery and watches, understands the challenges of the millennial habits but never steps too far from what the great house is known for. With the re-release of the Panthère de Cartier women’s watch marks a step in a new direction while glancing back at what has made this a watch an icon of the 80’s.

First launched in 1983, it became the watch of the decade but was discontinued in 2004. However, it remained one of the highest sourced times-pieces on the vintage market so it was about time that Cartier answered the wishes of their fans.

The updated design comes in 14 styles, all specifically for women. You can choose from modern steel to classic warm yellow gold, as well as variety of finishes and two different sizes. That’s plenty of options given to the modern-day customer and we can see them styled with an evening gown as well as a classic white shirt and jeans.

To find out more, we sit down with Arnaud Carrez, to discuss how Cartier is stepping into the modern age, and yet remaining desirably classic.

What is new for Cartier?

We are coming back to our DNA at Cartier and showcasing our key signature model, Panthère de Cartier. We are being true to who we are and it will be the biggest launch ever. This watch was an icon of the generation in the 80s and captures the spirit of Cartier, and that’s what we want to translate to today.

What woman is it for?

It’s for all women, as we offer a diverse collection at various price points.

There is a balance between grabbing the attention of a millennial shopper and the loyal clientele. How hard is it to engage both?

We have always been very careful about putting the centre of gravity at the right place. We don’t want to be perceived as being obsessed with millennials, and we are committed to create objects of desire which are meant to enhance the style of the people wearing them. It’s not a focus on a generation, we are naturally catering to different clientele. It’s about finding the right message. In the Middle East, the women are digitally savvy, whatever the generation, it’s part of the culture and at the end of the day it’s building a relevant plan for each country. You can’t apply the same recipe everywhere.

Do you think digital, social media in particular, diluted the meaning of ‘luxury’?

Yes and no. It always comes back to the way you are doing it. If it’s too much, it lacks authenticity and there is no sense of exclusivity. We are all influencers today but if you have no message, people get bored. We’ve done collaborations that remain true to who we are and we’ve seen influencers that have authenticity. We need to engage with people that have something to say and who contribute to the world in different ways, and we are committed to collaborate with people who want to create something.

Do you create the product after the story, or the story after the product?

We never create a product if there is no story. We are creating objects which are eternal by sense. We can create without thinking of them in the longer term, but we always need to have a story around them or they fade.

Can you share with us three things that you hate?

Unfaithfulness, mediocrity, and an absence of courage.

How do you unwind?

Spending time with my family.

Can you describe your style?

Authentic.

What is your motto?

Nothing is impossible.

By Lara Mansour Sawaya