PARTY CROWD: “This is Cartier mixing modernity and tradition,” said the jeweler’s U.K. managing director Laurent Feniou, who was back at Guards Polo Club in Windsor to host this year’s Cartier Queen’s Cup.
As per tradition, guests gathered at the Queen’s grounds for cocktails, a lunch hosted in an all-white tent filled with blooming roses, followed by a dose of polo. Halfway through the day, Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip made their usual flash appearance to take in the game and present the winning team — La Indiana in this instance — with their trophy.
“It’s an extremely important moment for us, above all because Her Majesty the Queen and Prince Philip come every year, and [they do so] for their own pleasure, this is outside of their official schedule. After lunch at Windsor, they usually drive themselves down here,” said Feniou.
But apart from keeping with tradition, Cartier also wants to make the sporting event “younger, more relevant and more trendy,” according to Feniou.
It’s doing a great job: The event gathered a fun, lively crowd with guests ranging from designers Christopher Kane, Alice Temperley and Henry Holland, to actresses Lily Collins, Clara Paget and Sai Bennett, model Martha Hunt and musician Tinie Tempah, who came in a lavish jacquard red suit. They all ate, drank, chatted about polo and stayed put at Windsor long after the game ended, to dance until the sun set, to sounds provided by DJs Mary Charteris and Harley Viera Newton. Viera Newton, who opened the party, has just finished hosting a successful pop-up in New York for her label HVN.
“This is the busiest time for my team; we’ve just been to Paris to sell resort and we’re on to designing the next collection. I’ve also bought some chickens for my home. That’s all I’ve been doing this month,” said Temperley, who like many others used the event as an opportunity to let her hair down after a busy month. “I’ve only been to polo once before and I’d like to learn more, because I ride horses.”
She took tips from model Jodie Kidd, who was explaining the game rules to anyone with a less expert eye, having watched polo with her family from an early age.
By embracing a younger party spirit, Cartier is also demonstrating that it’s moving with the times — and the younger generation of celebrities, designers and clients are keen to engage with the brand.
The jeweler has also been at the forefront of the new online fine jewelry market, having launched successful partnerships with Net-a-porter and Mr Porter and selling out some of its most expensive watches via WhatsApp within minutes of their launch.
“I strongly believe that every client wants to interact in different ways, whether it’s with your mobile, the Internet or in the boutique and it’s not a generational thing. The more we can promote the discovery of our products online before you go to the store, or the ability to buy online, it opens up the channels,” said Feniou. “I think this is the way to go, the more we do this, the better it will be for the luxury world.”
The company is not stopping there: It has also been working on a partnership with the hit movie “Oceans 8” and plans the reopening of its Bond Street store as well as another event taking place during London Fashion Week in September.
“It’s important for us to be part of the big fashion events that you have in London and some of our products, like the ‘Juste un Clou,’ are perfectly suited for this kind of event,” added Feniou.