Q&A: Montblanc’s Susie Otero
Managing jewelry director discusses Princess Grace-inspired designs.
August 01, 2012
Susie Otero, Montblanc’s managing director of jewelry, is just as lovely as the pieces she creates. A veteran in the high-end jewelry market, the Paris-based designer has brought her exquisite style and design talent to luxury labels such as Cartier, Tom Ford, and as of 2011, Montblanc. Otero’s vision produced the Montblanc’s Collection Princesse Grace de Monaco, a tribute series to Hollywood icon and Princess of Monaco, Grace Kelly.
A compilation of pendants, rings, earrings, bangles, and bracelets, the collection's two separate lines—Pétales de Rose and Pétales Entrelacés—are timeless, elegant, and stunning. We caught up with Otero at a preview event at The Soho House West Hollywood.
How did the Collection Princesse Grace de Monaco come about?
SUSIE OTERO: Initially a partnership was created as a foundation (Grace Kelly Foundation- USA) to help young artists in the States. Montblanc participates by giving a percentage of sales to the foundation. We presented [Grace Kelly's] son, Prince Albert, all the designs because he approves everything. He said to us, because initially there was no jewelry planned, 'why don’t you create a line of jewelry in the name of my mother?' So we created the jewelry and he liked the collection very much. By the way, his wife, Princess Charlene, wears a pair of earrings from the Pétales de Rose collection.
How did you come up with the concepts for the two lines?
SO: Pétales de Rose is inspired by a specific rose that Prince Rainer created for Princess Grace as a wedding gift. It’s a dark pink rose that's named the Grace Kelly rose—she was so emotional when she received it, and that’s why the collection is around the rose petals. It’s in pink gold, not red gold; it’s softer, very delicate. Even if you want to mix [it] with white or yellow, it fits. The [Pétales Entrelacés] is the imagination of two petals interlaced together, like love, in pink gold with diamonds. It is very easy to wear. The idea is that you can put it on in the morning and keep it on through cocktails or dinner. It’s not too much.
Any plans to expand the collection?
SO: The collaboration will continue for three to five years, so we are going to develop more. Even in the silver collections, we have new pieces coming next year. It’s very easy to create for the top-end jewelry because you have no limits in the terms of prices and mix of stones, so you can be very creative. I want to treat the silver in this way. My purpose for Montblanc is day-to-day wear—ladies today don’t have time to change, even me, and you have to find jewelry that you can take from day to night, which is what I aim to create.
The complete line is available at the Montblanc flagship in Beverly Hills. 323 N. Rodeo Dr., Beverly Hills, 310-275-3665
LAC celebrates the women of its May/June 2013 issue at Palihouse in West Hollywood.