As Dior’s artistic director, Kim Jones knows a thing or two about couture. Now the creative is embedding that level of luxury into the Cognac industry.
Spirits giant Hennessy and Jones have teamed up to create a suave collection of Cognac-inspired goods. Unveiled this month, the drop includes a limited-edition gold bottle holder, a decanter that features beautiful dégradé detailing—mirroring past collections by the English designer—and a chic pair of brown-toned sneakers. Hennessy and Jones are each no stranger to collaborations, but the duo’s partnership marks the spirit maker’s first foray into fashion as well as the creative’s first venture into the spirits space. Jones, following in the footsteps of Frank Gehry’s and Ridley Scott’s previous collabs with the French brand, choose to pay homage to Cognac and couture in this latest release.
In an interview with Robb Report at Aman New York, the Central Saint Martins grad compares elements of designing the decanter to creating couture. “In the essence of the form, it’s quite similar, but actually in the process, it’s very different because it’s actually product design,” Jones says. Crafted from 3-D-printing and meticulous hand-finishing, the Hennessy X.O Masterpiece is limited to just 200 examples and inspired by the origins of the drink, which was originally hand-wrapped in tissue paper at the turn of the 20th century.
Echoing this, the decanter’s special titanium casing twists around the bottle, similar to an elegant gown. The vessel was dipped in gradient colors that reflect shades of the different eaux-de-vie selected by the master blender to create Hennessy X.O. An oak plateau accompanies it as a nod to the barrels used to age the spirits. To extract the Cognac from its golden metal covering, you’ll need to use the handy fusil designed by Jones. And though the actual bottle you’ll receive is standard, it comes housed in another creation from the Dior artistic director: an aluminum “ready-to-wear” holder that acts as a second skin to highlight the decanter’s curvy silhouette, just like couture.
Sporting a Rolex Daytona on each wrist (one for displaying London time, the other for US), Jones draws a connection between his undergrad experience and his intro to Hennessy.
“I used to work at a bar when I was at college,” he says. “And Hennessy X.O was the thing that people used to ask for after the opera. I was at Saint Martins, but I would relate to the fact that the people that came to us would always wear the nicest suit, or the nicest dresses, or the nicest jewelry or the nicest watches. So, I assume I associated it with taste ever since then.”
Although Hennessy asked him to design its inaugural step into the fashion world, Jones says he wasn’t sure about the move at first. “But then I thought about it more until I actually made one,” he explains. That creation turned out to be a pair of basketball-inspired kicks, dubbed HNY Low by Kim Jones. Produced at an LVMH-owned shoe factory in Italy, the sneaks are made from Cognac-brown leather that will patina beautifully over time. The initials “KJ” and Hennessy’s bras armé emblem adorn the sole, and the pair will be delivered to you in a stylish oak box.
When asked who he’d like to team up with next, Jones was vague. “At the moment, I just focus on doing things within the brands. I’m planned up till next January.” In the meantime, you can expect the HNY Low sneaker to release this month for US$679 (HK$5,330) in partnership with HBX as its exclusive online retailer and at select stores. The limited-edition bottle (and its holder) will sell for US$295 (HK$2,315) starting April 1, and you’ll be able to snap up the Masterpiece decanter for US$27,000 (HK$211,941) via specialty and private retailers from May 1.