Amanda Mille, brand and partnerships director of Richard Mille, and daughter of the eponymous founder, talks about how the watchmaker is empowering women. How has Richard Mille evolved as a brand? Firstly we’re still quite a young brand, we’ve existed for two decades only – which is very young compared to some other watch brands. Change is what we’re all about, in terms of technology. Richard Mille watches are about breaking codes, meeting exciting new technological changes, working with new materials – and looking for unexpected new members of the family who bring with them inherently difficult but exciting challenges. What doesn’t change, however – and this is the DNA of the brand – are our values, the way we listen to our customers in a changing world and above all being a family. What was the motivation behind launching the all-women Richard Mille Racing Team, which is taking part in the FIA World Endurance Championship? When I first started working for the brand in the Middle East, it has to be said that ladies watches were slow to take off. It’s true that perhaps women didn’t feel they had a place in a brand which was overtly based on technological performance. Even the design of our boutiques throughout the world felt like it was very much aimed at our male clients. Wrongly, I thought! I really tried to attract more female interest, and during my time in the Middle East we upped the ladies’ part of the market there from 4 per cent in 2014 to 30 per cent in 2017. Bling it like Beckham: inside Brooklyn and Nicola’s wedding jewellery Racing is, as you know, one of my father’s absolute passions, and so it seemed a perfect idea to concentrate on something distinctly feminine, which broke the codes. What better way than to encourage a female racing team, to bring together women competitors in one of the most staunchly male worlds – precisely to show people what they – what we, as women – could do. I knew we were doing the right thing when I met Tatiana Calderon on the Abu Dhabi circuit for the all-women’s event we organised. When I introduced her to the team she needed – her co-drivers Beitske Visser and Sophia Flörsch – sparks flew, and I have been really impressed by their performances so far. What obstacles did you face in the team’s launch? That it’s a very male world! It’s an attitude. It’s not normal though when you think about it – why shouldn’t women race and drive fast cars? Meeting Philippe Sinault at Signatech was a decisive moment in making this dream come together. He really believed in the vision of creating a championship-worthy team of female drivers. They were absolutely ready to take their place – it’s just they hadn’t met the right technical team who believed in them. How would you describe the rising significance of women in sports and in watchmaking? Women are changing the world more than ever at the moment – just look around. I think also that women are changing themselves, their expectations. We’ve made sure that the ladies’ watches are not a “plan B” or “second choice” behind the models for men. I like it that things are mixing up, some of the ladies love our men’s watches and vice versa. Why shouldn’t they – they want technological performance every bit as much as the men. Our first in-house automatic tourbillons were actually made for women. And what is also cool is that men are now telling us they like what some would consider a ladies type of watch. It’s what we’re about, mixing it all up and challenging stereotypes. It’s what we do! What other brand partnerships have you spearheaded and what did they achieve? I’m just interested in the human relations side of creating new partnerships. It really is sometimes just a case of having a real “coup de foudre” (a lightning strike), as we say in French, suddenly being inspired by someone – like Arnaud Jerald, the world champion freediver. I saw him on French TV and thought he would be a perfect family member. He has brought so much to the brand, and I have learned so much hearing him tell us about how he controls his breath. The technical guys were really excited at meeting the challenge of wearing a watch that goes deeper than anyone else and accompanies him in these most privileged moments. It’s that kind of meeting that makes our partnerships so special , and I love it when it clicks. The luxury lives of Kourtney Kardashian’s children What is something you haven’t done yet that you would love to do one day? I would above all love to organise a special meal where we could have all the Richard Mille family, all our partners , together. I understand this might be a little implausible when you see our different schedules but you can imagine – so much talent, so many exciting people all in the same room. Want more stories like this? Follow STYLE on Facebook , Instagram , YouTube and Twitter .