By Anna Sekula Posted September 21, 2010, 3:45 PM EDT
Montblanc doesn't host many events, but when it does, it goes big. To launch its collection of commemorative John Lennon writing instruments, the German luxury goods company went global, hosting five simultaneous events across the globe—in Berlin, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Mexico City, and New York—on Sunday, September 12. In New York, the gathering also screened director Sam Taylor-Wood's Lennon biopic Nowhere Boy and debuted Montblanc's initiative to donate proceeds from the new line to nonprofit cultural projects such as the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus.
The event at Jazz at Lincoln Center brought out the likes of Susan Sarandon, Harvey Weinstein, and Helena Christensen, as well as Montblanc North America C.E.O. Jan Patrick-Schmitz and Montblanc International C.E.O. Lutz Bethge for a 250-person function that started at 6 p.m. and included a live performance by Christina Aguilera. To facilitate the production, hospitality, and entertainment elements necessary for an event that involved displaying a live satellite feed from the events in other countries, Hamburg, Germany-based event marketing agency Delphis Dialog worked closely with destination management company Briggs, the firm charged with coordinating the services from a long list of vendors, including BML Blackbird and Great Performances.
Inside Jazz at Lincoln Center's Allen Room, guests found a simple setup, which sought to highlight the new products as well as allow room for the musical acts, reveal, and movie screening. The first stop in this part of the venue was a sign-in book, where guests used the new John Lennon edition pen to scribble their names in front of a step-and-repeat. (This followed a walk down a 40-foot-long red carpet at the venue's entrance.) Attendees could then lounge, watch the satellite feed from other parties, and partake in the nibbles provided by Great Performances. The menu included an assortment of market-fresh vegetarian maki rolls created by chef Masaharu Morimoto, butlered hors d'oeuvres such as Asiago cheese and sun-dried tomato tartlets drizzled with aged balsamic vinegar, and tasting plates that included pistachio-crusted beef tenderloin with tomato and corn relish, wild striped bass, and breast of Muscovy duck in a blackberry reduction sauce.
Following a live greeting from Lennon's widow, Yoko Ono, who was hosting the event in Berlin, Christina Aguilera took to the stage with pianist Linda Perry for a rendition of Lennon's iconic ballad “Imagine.” The stage stood in front of the Allen Room's 50-foot-tall window, a glass wall that was shrouded with a custom drape, and also served as the spot from which guitarist Jack Petruzzelli performed “Instant Karma.” After a video showing the John Lennon Educational Bus—a nonprofit organization that will receive proceeds from the sale of Montblanc's John Lennon edition products—and a reveal of signage installed at Central Park's Merchants' Gate, the organizers screened Nowhere Boy and hosted a late-night after-party.
There was, of course, plenty of food for the later portion of the evening, too: Waitstaff in 1950s-style outfits served trays of movie snacks like popcorn, cotton candy, and iced Popsicles before the screening. For the after-party, guests snacked on desserts such as strawberry shortcake, miniature cupcakes, chocolate-dipped cheesecake lollipops with sprinkles, and spun sugar chocolate mousse with hazelnut and mocha meringues.
Correction: The original version of this story omitted the name of the New York-based destination management company that coordinated the launch with Delphis Dialog.