The Hennessy brand has been around for more than 200 years, and if there is anything it knows too well, it is that change and evolution are constant denominators for legacy brands. Which is why creative collaborations are commonplace. What is not common however is its latest project with Dior’s artistic director, Kim Jones, which has birthed the Hennessy X.O x Kim Jones collection, a fashion and cognac-inspired collection.
The Hennessy X.O x Kim Jones collection
It is not immediately clear why Hennessy decided that fashion was the right blend to explore. In recent years, luxury brands have diversified away from their core products into niches that can be considered alien to their brand. Ferrari, once a luxury auto brand, now wants to be known as a lifestyle brand on its way to becoming famous, not just for its cars alone, but also for its fashion line and fine dining.
And then there is Aston Martin, whose foray into the world of real estate has seen it put up some incredible structures, from the Aston Martin Residences in Miami to the № 001 Minami Aoyama in Japan. Louis Vuitton, on the other hand, chose to focus on products that enhance the luxury fashion shopping experience, which is why its café and chocolate shop, as well as the planned LV hotel in Paris, exist.
For Hennessy, however, the path to haute couture – if indeed it is considering adding fashion to its portfolio – was not as straightforward. When Jones was developing the collection, he paid a visit to Hennessy’s library and museum in Cognac, France. There, he discovered some of the brand’s oldest bottles wrapped in twists of paper and studied the bottles housing the alcoholic beverage. The paper wrapping reminded him of the draping technique used in creating a clothing item, and the bottles, which appeared to be shaped “almost like a ball gown, in a sense,” inspired his designs for the collection.
First, he created the limited-edition masterpiece decanter shaped exactly like the tissue wrappings that had caught Jones’ attention at the museum. Made of titanium, it was dipped in gradient colours that mimic the shades of the Hennessy X.O blend.
Next was the bottle, which, although preserving its original shape, took on an additional ‘ready-to-wear’ golden aluminium ensemble that highlights its natural dips and curves, just like a well-fitted dress clings to every curve and bit of its wearer.
The final item is an unexpected pair of trainers whose cognac brown shade and design are also informed by the Hennessy X.O blend. Manufactured in an Italian shoe factory owned by LVMH, the parent company of both Hennessy and Dior, the HNY low trainers have a simple design with a grooved rubber sole imprinted with cognac vines on its base, and a nubuck leather upper. They come in a stylish oak box that recalls the barrels that housed the Hennessy drinks.
Is a Hennessy fashion collection on the way?
Maybe Hennessy will stick to its cognacs after this project. Or maybe it will decide it had so much fun with it that we will see future fashion capsule collections inspired by its beverages. Whatever part it decides to take, one thing is for certain: the Hennessy X.O x Kim Jones collection is every bit as stylish as it is revolutionary.