THE MAKING OF THE PANTHÈRE DE CARTIER BAG
THE NEW PANTHÈRE DE CARTIER BAG, WITH ITS RADICAL AESTHETIC INSPIRED BY THE VISION OF CARTIER JEWELLERS, COMBINES LEATHER ARTISTRY WITH JEWELLERY SAVOIR-FAIRE.
It all began in secrecy, within the Design Studio at the hands of Marlin Yuson, the Creative Director of Leather Goods, and her team. Using precious materials, sketchbooks and prototypes, the creative process took many detours which encouraged dialogue – and then it got underway. For the Panthère de Cartier bag, the designers called upon both the jewellery expertise of the Maison’s workshops and some of the finest leathers. Two requisites that guarantee the preciousness and elegance of the bag.
Jewellery expertise: the jewellery clasp and the precious chain
The clasp of the Panthère de Cartier bag unites leather goods and jewellery expertise. Following a collaboration between the Design Studio and a sculptor from the jewellery workshop, the clasp of the Panthère de Cartier bag offers a new interpretation of Cartier’s emblematic animal. A new panther emerged, to complete the repertoire of her appearances across Cartier’s creative fields, from jewellery to watchmaking.
As with a piece of jewellery, every detail is considered according to the highest standards. With faceted metal and golden or palladium finishes, this panther head is made of eleven flat surfaces that have been adorned with leather inserts by the Maison’s craftsmen. The leather elements are laser-cut and assembled by hand: they create depth and perspective.
For the metal parts, Cartier opted for brass and covered them with a golden or palladium finish of a sufficient thickness to ensure a greater resistance to oxidation, wear and tear.
Under the flap, a tab positioned next to the clasp depicts a stylised panther’s head. The chain follows on from this jewellery aesthetic: its links are faceted like precious stones and covered with a golden or palladium finish.
Leather craftsmanship: the sensuality of leathers
The leather of the Panthère de Cartier bag is both soft and resistant, grained and shiny. It was selected from the highest quality batches of calf leather, from which only the finest parts were chosen. The leather is first washed and tanned before undergoing a specific process that gives the leather a grained effect: the skin is pressed with an embossed pattern and then subjected to high pressure and high temperature. The leather is then cut to match the pattern, and further refined: this is the slitting stage, which will make it easier to sew. The edges are then dyed, the logo is embossed in gold and the individual parts are assembled. For the final step of the production process, the needlework is very precise, but hidden: neither its edges nor its seams are visible to the eye. All that remains is a generous, sensual material, leather that folds in on itself, whose roundness amplifies the sensual dimension.
Based on the design, and in addition to the tanning process, a mock-up is made using the microfibre, salpa. Creating this prototype ensures that the overall process, especially the play of proportions, is carefully controlled.
The accuracy of the shape, the precision of the proportions and the precious details: this intelligence of design enables Cartier to bring out the animal’s charisma through the purity of the lines of this minimalist yet sleek bag.
« For the Panthère de Cartier bag, we drew on our expertise to bring this feline gem to life. The purity of the lines, the radical aesthetic, the sensuality of the materials: the animal is present in every detail. And its fascinating power is thus magnified. » Marlin Yuson.