Several years ago, Kim Jones, a British fashion designer, got smitten by different worlds – technology and art – an infatuation that led to him merging them in his head and later translating them into his design.
Jones does not have a background in science; he attended the prestigious Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in London. Yet he regularly draws inspiration from sciences to create rarefied, gorgeous designs, one of them being the Hennessy X.O masterpiece, employing unexpected materials and 3D printing.
“The idea of taking something very technological and fusing that with something different, it’s very exciting,” he discloses. “It’s all my caps together. It’s a graphic design interest. It’s the idea of the form of taking one manufacturer to another manufacturer. It’s the idea of taking something made out of paper and then creating it in metal. It’s all those different things combined,” he continues.
An Historical First for Hennessy
In a first for the Maison, the acclaimed fashion designer transcends couture and cognac in a special collection featuring a collectible sneaker, Masterpiece decanter, and Limited Edition bottle.
Interweaving the richness of Hennessy X.O’s 150-year heritage with Kim Jones’ creative vision, the collaboration features the Hennessy X.O Masterpiece designed by Kim Jones, the Hennessy X.O Limited Edition bottle by Kim Jones, and in a first for the brand, the HNY Low by Kim Jones. This also marks Maison Hennessy’s first partnership with a fashion designer!
“We are thrilled to embark on a new odyssey blending cognac-making and couture with Kim Jones, a creative master of our time,” said Laurent Boillot, Hennessy CEO. “Inspired by the emblematic personality of Hennessy X.O, Kim has developed a resolutely contemporary collection that is destined to make an impact on culture today and in the future.”
For Hennessy X.O, Jones pays tribute to cognac-making and couture, two processes that touch on an understanding of science and the natural world, as well as artisanal craftsmanship and savoir-faire.
He follows in the footsteps of a formidable lineage of great masters who have helped cement Hennessy X.O’s cultural resonance over the years, including Frank Gehry, Cai Guo-Qiang, and Ridley Scott.
“I’m fascinated by the rich heritage of Hennessy, a household name behind which artisans have spent hundreds of years creating this special cognac,” says Jones. “Storytelling is very important for me regardless of what I’m designing or who I’m collaborating with – I want my designs to educate and inspire people through the stories they tell.”
HNY Low by Kim Jones
Designed by Kim Jones and crafted in an LVMH-owned shoe factory in Italy, the limited edition HNY Low by Kim Jones is inspired by early basketball shoes. Contrasting with the classic upper, a technical sole in tonal grooved rubber features an imprint of cognac vines and the Hennessy X.O x Kim Jones logo on its underside. At the same time, the initials KJ and the Hennessy bras armé emblem discreetly adorn the heel.
“I wanted it to be elevated and chic, to reflect both the long heritage of cognac and my own design values,” says the designer, who also transposed the curves of the Hennessy X.O bottle onto the sneaker. I wanted it to feel like you’re almost looking into the bottle. It’s a glass of cognac in sneaker form.”
Cognac Meets Couture
Designed exclusively for Hennessy by Kim Jones, produced using 3D printing technology, and finished by hand, the sculptural Hennessy X.O Masterpiece has been produced in only 200 examples.
The decanter demonstrates how humanity and technology can work together to create something unique, “like a piece of bespoke couture for a bottle,” the designer notes.
The Hennessy X.O Masterpiece draws inspiration from the making of Hennessy X.O, an art perfected by eight generations of Master Blenders.
A specially developed titanium casing entirely encapsulates the bottle like an architectural second skin. Its twisting folds evoke both the couture technique of draping and how, at the turn of the 20th century, Hennessy bottles were carefully hand-enveloped in tissue paper to protect their fragile parchment paper labels.
Its base, an undulating oak plateau, nods to the barrels used to agneaux-de-vie that would eventually be blended to create Hennessy X.O.
While the bottle is entirely obscured from view, the cognac can be extracted using the fusil also designed by Jones, adding an elegant and playful ritual to serve a glass of the Hennessy X.O blend. As a finishing touch, the decanter has been dipped in gradient colours, inspired by the shades of the different eaux-de-vie selected by the Master Blender to compose Hennessy X.O.
Jones shares, “When I saw how the vintage Hennessy bottles were wrapped, it spoke volumes to me about how precious each one is and how they were handled. I was particularly touched by their history and the sense of how generations have dedicated their time to making each step of the process better and better. That same process also holds true with fashion.”
Designer Decanter Perfection
The third element of the collaboration is the Hennessy X.O Limited Edition ‘ready-to-wear’ version of the decanter specially imagined by Kim Jones. The Hennessy X.O bottle is encased in an aluminum second skin, its structure showcasing the signature shape of the bottle while evoking a couture silhouette. A true representation of the merger of fashion and culture with excellence and legacy, the limited-edition bottle is the final piece of the Hennessy X.O x Kim Jones partnership.
Loving on Hennessy X.O
The leader in Cognac, the Maison Hennessy, has shone worldwide with its exceptional know-how for over 250 years. Built on founder Richard Hennessy‘s spirit of conquest, the brand is present in more than 160 countries. Based in the heart of the Charente region, Hennessy is also a steadfast pillar of the regional economy. As a crown jewel of the LVMH Group, Hennessy is a pioneer in the environmental field within the Wines and Spirits sector. Hennessy was certified ISO 14001 in 1998 for its responsible action.
Today, its action in terms of Corporate and Environmental Responsibility covers its entire lifecycle and farming practices in a particular chain. Bringing its partners along in this transformation, the Maison collaborates with a community of 1,600 winegrowers, representing about 32,000 hectares of vines.
Inspired by Hennessy and the 150-year history of Hennessy X.O, Kim Jones went beyond the conventional when blending high fashion, science and cognac.
- Helen Siwak is the founder of EcoLuxLuv Marketing & Communications Inc and publisher of Folio.YVR Luxury Lifestyle Magazine and digital women's lifestyle magazine EcoLuxLifestyle.co. She is a prolific content creator, consultant, and marketing and media strategist within the ecoluxury lifestyle niche. Post-pandemic, she has worked with many small to mid-sized plant-based/vegan brands to build their digital foundations and strategize content creation and business development. Helen is the west coast correspondent to Canada’s top-read industry magazine Retail-Insider, holds a vast freelance portfolio, and consults with many of the world’s luxury heritage brands. Always seeking new opportunities and challenges, you can email her at [email protected].
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