Cartier’s new signature collection, Clash de Cartier is disrupting jewelry codes by mixing punk spikes with refined rose gold. At the launch in Paris, Sorbet chats with Cartier’s Marketing and Communications Director Arnaud Carrez to discover a legacy in the making.
Q: When researching Clash de Cartier, I could not help but admire the word “pulsating”. When you described it, there was a lot of pulsation. I loved the description and found it unusual for jewelry. Please explain how it evokes this feeling.
A: I think the Clash de Cartier collection reflects on the constant creative exploration of Cartier. Cartier has always been known by its ability. You have to push boundaries and explore new territories. The notion of tension and intensity is very much encoded in the design of Clash. If you look at the Juste un Clou collection or Love, they both have very distinctive, powerful designs. This idea of spikes on the Clash pieces make them very intense. So, this word could apply to most of Cartier creations because, by essence, Cartier creations are not generic; they are not cliché. They are very distinctive, powerful and strong by essence.
Q: And they have a strong identity?
A: Yes, a strong identity. I think this is a key differentiator for us.
Q: The word Clash. When was it a consensus that you were going to call the new range, Clash?
A: It was a consensus. The name is perfect and evokes exactly what the design is about. It is elegant and at the same time has spikes. They have a sense of fluidity, mobility and aspiration to them. It moves, it’s elegant, it’s spiky, it’s strong. And the word is naturally a Cartier word.
Q: It’s a statement. When you wear Clash, I’m making a statement, I’m strong, I’m reinforced.
A: Yes, it’s like a shelter, like the Juste un Clou or Love bracelets, they shield you. It’s a kind of protection, and at the same time it is showing your personality, your character, your assertiveness. But it is not aggressive, it is elegant.
Q: The communication around Clash is that it is for men and women, but it feels to me like it’s more for women. Do you feel that a man would wear it?
A: Clash caters to a very large audience. Probably mostly women to a large extend, but I think some men as well will be inspired by this collection. Cartier collections are universal designs, and they also are transgenerational. We don’t engage specifically with an age group.
Q: Using the British actress Kaya Scodelario as the face was also a surprise.
A: We like surprises. I think Kaya is a very interesting friend of the Maison because she resonates with our spirit and our values. She is multicultural. She is English with Brazilian, Italian and Spanish origins. She is an emerging talent. She is growing and is not super well known. When I first met her, before we did this collaboration, I felt that she had a lot of character, a lot of spike as well. I saw her as a natural interpretation of Clash.
Q: She’s an interesting choice of face for you guys.
A: We like to build inclusive communities. For example, when we host a magnificent exhibition of Cartier jewels, the scenography is done by the Japanese photographer and architect, Hiroshi Sugimoto. We have worked with him for many years through the Fondation Cartier. Norman Foster did the scenography of the Cartier in Motion exhibition in London two years ago at the Design Museum and we have collaborated on Cartier boutiques. We are building bridges. In France, Melanie Laurent was part of the Social Labs in San Francisco. We don’t want to cluster people into ‘those are the celebrities; those are the influencers etc’. We can leverage this community in many different ways.
Q: When you talk about Clash, I loved that you said; “Ce n’est pas un bruit, c’est un son (It is not a noise, it is a sound)”. When you describe it so beautifully, it’s like poetry?
A: I think it echoes very much with who we are. Beyond Clash, we are not interested in making noise. Clash in itself, is not a noisy collection. It has subtlety; it has style; it has a lot of sense and meaning. It’s also because it is naturally embodying Cartier’s stylistic vocabulary with the beats and the studs. Cartier style is like a living language, like a living dictionary. We keep adding new words, words consistent with the current ones. We say that we respect our heritage and it is because we respect our heritage that we manage to enrich it by continuously pushing the boundaries of style and creativity.
Q: I understand in September we were going to see the white gold version of Clash?
A: Yes, and there will be much more.
Q: There will be an evolution of the Clash.
A: You will hear about Clash for many years. The story continues.
Q: And last question. What is your favorite flavor of sorbet?
A: What a surprising question. You took me by surprise. Clash! A new flavor has to be created.
END OF STORY