At the Montblanc Pre-Oscar Charity Brunch


As promised, here are some impressions of the Montblanc ‘ֹSignature for Good’ 2013 charity brunch at the iconic Hotel Bel-Air in Los Angeles that was truly outstanding. Each year Montblanc presents on the day before the Oscars their charity initiative of the year and this time the German house supports UNICEF educational projects, which benefit children around the globe giving them access to education and aims to raise at least $1.5 million dollars.


Here you see me arriving at the Hotel Bel-Air which is nestled in an exclusive neighborhood, surrounded by stunning homes and mansions.


Me on the red carpet (I could totally get used to that feeling.)


Two of the official photos (© Jonathan Leibson/Getty Images for Montblanc)



Guests from the world of entertainment, young Hollywood and the worldʼs best producers including Hilary Swank (Actress), Rosario Dawson (Actress), Christopher Lambert (Actor), Patricia Arquette (Actress), Peter Fonda (Actor), Joel Madden (Singer – UNICEF Ambassador), Alyssa Milano (Actress – UNICEF Ambassador), Michael York (Actor), Olga Kurylenko (Actress), Martin Landau (Actor), Petra Nemcova (Model), Jesse Metcalfe (Actor), Billy Zane (Actor), Mimi Rogers (Actress), Emmy Rossum (Actress), Jane Seymour (Actress), Clemens Schick (Actor), Alexander Ludwig (Actor), Tom Hooper (Director), Natasha Henstridge (Actress), Lydia Hearst (Socialite) and Tippi Hedren (Actress) joined Lutz Bethge (CEO Montblanc International) and Caryl M. Stern (CEO and President U.S. Fund for UNICEF) to support a very special cause.


Academy Award winner Hilary Swank


Emily Rossum


Cas Anvar who plays Dodi Al-Fayed in the new Diana movie with Naomi Watts.


Alexander Ludwig (Hunger Games)


Natasha Henstridge


Christopher Lambert


Rosario Dawson


Martin Landau


Jane Seymour


Lainie Kazan (My Big Fat Greek Wedding)


DJ Bob Sinclair


German actor Wayne Carpendale


Austrian celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck (Spago)


German actor Clemens Schick


Lutz Bethge, CEO Montblanc, and Ingrid Roosen-Trinks, Director of Montblanc Cultural Foundation


During the brunch, Lutz Bethge gave a very emotional introductory speech regarding Montblanc’s new charity initiative, Signature for Good, and his field trip with actress Hilary Swank to Ethiopia last October, where he was able to witness the incredible work of UNICEF. “I will never forget the pride in the eyes of those children to go to school. Something that I haven’t seen in my own children.” He was very impressed by the so-called “gender clubs” where the children have a chance to talk about issues such as domestic abuse or child labour, “because school helps them make a change.”. Since 2004, Montblanc has raised over $5 million dollars.


Caryl M. Stern, President and CEO of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, brought tears to the eyes of the audience. “You are not only helping children to learn and to write, you give them a brighter future, you unlock doors that would have been shut. We do whatever it takes to save a child all over the world.” It gave me shivers when she stated that 19.000 kids will die today and the same amount tomorrow and so on of causes we could already save.” UNICEF lowered that number by 40%. Caryl M.Stern went on: “No matter where we go, we all want the same for our children, we want them to be safe, healthy, educated, to survive and to fulfill their dreams. Our own children get a great seat at the table, but there are some who don’t get a seat at all. An investment in our children is the most important investment we can make.”


The very moving moment culminated when Hilary Swank went on stage to share her personal experience from her field visit to Ethiopia with Montblanc and UNICEF. The actress had tears in her eyes when she gushed about “the smile on the children’s faces when they go to school and their determination to learn.”



Montblanc_Brunch_Signature for Good_Perfomance

As a performing surprise, young opera star and Montblanc brand ambassador Shenyang delighted guests with a dazzling performance of two songs.



Symbolic of Montblancʼs commitment to giving children access to better education, guests were invited to pledge their support for the Signature For Good 2013 initiative by signing bricks of a school specially recreated inside the Hotel Bel-Air.



I have been deeply impressed by UNICEFʼs life-changing work in Africa and the impact of Montblanc’s contribution over the recent years in funding education programs. If you like to support the good cause, have a look at the new ‘ֹSignature for Good’ 2013 collection which is in stores now.

LoL, Sandra

All Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht
Photos (Red Carpet):  © Jonathan Leibson/Getty Images for Montblanc

Montblanc “Signature For Good” 2013


Yesterday, the day before the Oscars, I attended the Montblanc Charity Brunch at the iconic Bel-Air HotelDuring the event the German house’s “Signature For Good” 2013 collection was presented which aims to raise at least $1.5 million dollars to support UNICEF education programmes worldwide.

Hilary_Swank_Sandra_bauknechtHilary Swank with me yesterday

Two-time Academy Award winner Hilary Swank was the star guest among many celebrities who arrived on the red carpet. To support this good cause, the brunette actress joined the project and travelled to Ethiopia. Here are some impressions she shared during yesterday’s interview.


What can you share about Montblanc and UNICEFʼs partnership?

What struck me about Montblancʼs relationship with UNICEF was this shared belief in the importance of quality education for all children, regardless of their situation and location. Seeing in person how Montblanc is so committed to this issue in Ethiopia and how UNICEFʼs programmes are making a difference was also very touching to me, knowing that this commitment is not short term. They have been working closely with the organization for nearly a decade and committed to do doing so in the long-term because when it comes to this kind of work, it is the only way you can really make an impact and end the cycle of poverty.


What will your most enduring memory from this visit be?

I will always remember the enthusiasm and warmth of the children but also the determination and dedication of the UNICEF staff on the ground. One special memory is the children who were part of the Gender Club, an educational group that promotes 4 gender equality for boys and girls, showing them what to do if they have been abused, violated in any way and what their rights are. It empowers these kids to figure out how to get to school, find the closest water well. Itʼs all about putting their minds together to find solutions to their every day challenges. It is inspiring to me, to see young people helping out with these programmes, striving to only to improve their own situation, but helping others around them enjoy better lives. These kids were so special to me, and I will carry their spirits and their smiles in my heart forever.


Writing by hand seems to be less and less common in the developed world, do you every worry about it?

Our society relies far too much on emails, text messages and other forms of digital communication, yet the written word can be so much more meaningful. Because handwriting is unique and personal to each and every one of us, it adds a special touch to the messages we share. Montblanc does a wonderful job at reminding us what a unique experience writing by hand can be, particularly if you have the right instrument to shape your thoughts and emotions with. Call me old-fashioned, but I love to receive a handwritten note from a friend or loved one.

MDL_MONTBLANCETHIOPIA183CEO Montblanc International, Lutz Bethge, during the field trip in Ethiopia

The 2013 Montblanc “Signature For Good” collection includes special edition writing instruments, jewlery pieces and leather accessories.

All feature a unique brick design that symbolizes the joint effort of building a better future for all children and their communities, through the creation of proper education programmes and the constructions of schools – brick by brick. Parts of the proceeds raised from the sale will be donated to UNICEF to build and maintain schools for underprivileged children within its Schools for Africa, Asia and Latin America programmes.


Montblanc “Signature For Good” Bracelets

Montblanc_Signature_for_good_Writing_familyMontblanc “Signature For Good” Writing Instruments


Montblanc “Signature For Good” Leather Family
The collection will be in stores in March 2013.

To ensure all children have access to a proper education to learn how to read and to write is such a great cause worth supporting. Since 2004, Montblanc has raised over $5 million dollars for UNICEFʼs education programmes worldwide. Thumbs up!

Stay tuned for a detailed post from the event!

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Montblanc and © Sandra Bauknecht