I never really thought about it before but where did Tin Tin shop? Those dapper plus fours, sharp brogues and those (cashmere?) pullovers…
If he’d lived in London in the 1930s (when his character debuted) he’d have had an account at Simpson’s in Piccadilly. Their barber shop and floors of gentleman’s essentials would be just the place to spruce up, before taking off for the moon with your pet dog.
Why is this on my mind? Well Cartier – makers of bling in all its manifestations – have commissioned several illustrators, including Glen Baxter and Jean-Claude Floc’h, to promote their new watch Le Ballon Bleu.
Floc’h is surely a fan of Herge but has his own contribution to make. He has drawn many New Yorker covers and illustrated several books. For this work for Cartier, titled ‘175 – 176 New Bond Street,’ Floc’h illustrates a glamorous shopping trip, as a couple pick an anniversary present in the Cartier shop.
These illustrations are great, unusual, sharp and evocative in a way a glossy photograph of a watch isn’t. More modern too. In this promotional material – as in all the best illustrations – the conjoining of the real and the fictional makes the whole message more powerful.