Since its founding in 1847, the Cartier name has become synonymous with luxury.
Look on the wrist of any current influencer or style-savant worth their salt and you'll most likely see a variations of the Love bracelet, the Tank and Juste un Clou - the brand's holy trinity of design.
But there's a fourth line from the maison, instantly recognisable thanks to its unique motif that has become the focus of an once-in-a-lifetime experience taking place in Melbourne
Cartier: Into The Wild celebrates the incredible Panthère collection, in all of its animalistic glory goes on display for the Australian public this month, letting lovers of fine jewellery and can witness the allure of this enduring design oeuvre of Cartier.
Birth of the Panthère de Cartier
Dating back to the early twentieth century, the Panthère de Cartier takes its name from the director of jewellery, Jeanne Toussaint - who was aptly nicknamed "La Panthère" for being wild, bold and independent, as well as her love for felines. Toussaint was a major influence within the Maison, laying out a foundation for stylistic vocabulary and creativity Cartier is renowned for today.
Having worked on some of Cartier's signature jewellery creations from the years 1933 and 1970, the Panthère collection is arguably Toussaint's most iconic; you can't mistake the collection's prowling cat motifs found on rings, bracelets, necklaces.
"The Panthère is a key character and inspiration within our Maison style – it truly is at the heart of Cartier's DNA and a driving force of our mindset," says Alban du Mesnil, Managing Director of Cartier Australia and New Zealand.
"It is also an expression of Cartier's values which are very relevant in today's society: determined, passionate, daring. Panthère is an icon. An object of desire and fascination, everything about the Panthère exudes power and freedom."
A changing trend
But who said jewellery was to be dictated (and worn) by women alone? Cartier, since its inception, has broken stereotypes and the created trends. And the unveiling of the Panthère collection was no exception.
"Panthère continues to capture strong personalities in both men and women who identify with its power. Today, we are seeing more men becoming increasingly daring and willing to express their individual style and creativity, and jewellery is a great way to accessorise this personal style," explains du Mesnil.
"Men are now viewing jewellery as part of their outfit, as opposed to just an accessory, and our Panthère collection continues to be a favourite amongst men. It embodies bold characteristics whilst being strong and agile. Men want their jewellery to be unique and specific to them.
"We are finding that some male clients are beginning to wear their jewellery the way women have traditionally done, wearing more everyday pieces during the day, and then choosing to wear statement creations at night," adds du Mesnil.
"They might wear a watch and bracelet during the day, and then select creations that fit the occasion in the evening – accessorising with a different watch, rings, bracelets or generally more creative designs."
An immersive experience
The Cartier: Into The Wild marks the Maion's first cultural experience in Australia, taking over the Atrium in Melbourne's Federation Square from March 6th-17th.
The immersive and "unprecedented" show will trace the back history and incarnations of the Panthère design up until the present day.
"Into the Wild is an ephemeral installation which will allow us to tell the Cartier story by showcasing the Cartier Panthère, its original designer Jeanne Toussaint, the evolution of Panthère designs over the decades, as well as the Panthère Tribe of yesterday and today," says du Mesnil.
"Our guests will be encouraged to step into the world of the Cartier Panthère in three sections, each exploring a different facet of Panthère: the history and spirit; the design and know-how; followed by an introduction to the Panthère Tribe of yesterday and today."