Dior artistic director Kim Jones has designed a bottle, a decanter and a pair of monochrome sneakers for drinks brand Hennessy.
Named the Hennessy XO x Kim Jones collection, the trio aim to blend “cognac and couture” and are the first in the Hennessy XO Masterpiece range to be created by a fashion designer.
Jones is the latest high-profile designer to recreate a bottle for Hennessy, following industrial designer Marc Newson and architects Frank Gehry and Daniel Libeskind.
However, the HNY Low Sneakers are the first sneakers ever created for the beverage brand.
“I wanted it to be elevated and chic, to reflect both the long heritage of cognac and my own design values,” said Jones.
“I wanted it to feel like you’re almost looking into the bottle,” he continued. “It’s a glass of cognac in sneaker form.”
Inspired by early basketball shoes, the sneaker features a simple design with a grooved rubber sole, embossed with cognac tendrils on the bottom and a nubuck leather upper.
Jones wanted to create a monochrome look, with brown sole and laces and a cognac-toned upper, creating a trainer that nods to both the cognac itself and the bottle.
“We took the details from the bottle like the ribbon around the bottle, which became very shiny, and it became the laces, the little thing you can see, the eyes and things that are also reflected in the bottle,” Jones told Dezeen.
“It was really just looking at the idea of the color of the cognac and taking that through I wanted one that reflected what the consumer would be, which is not so dissimilar to someone like Dior or Fendi where they have . lifestyle where they’re casual but smart,” he continued. “And that’s what I was really looking at.”
The clogs were made in a shoe factory in Italy owned by Hennessy and Dior’s parent company LVMH. They are packed in an oak box reminiscent of the barrels Hennessy rests in, also designed by Jones.
He hopes the trainer will be worn by the same customer who drinks Hennessy XO
“I like the fact that you can wear with tailored or with denim, or you can wear it casual or smart, and that’s why it’s all solid color,” Jones said.
“But really the focus is on the color of the cognac itself,” he continued. “So it’s pretty simple. I find that when you do things with footwear that’s more simple, people respond to it. It’s much wider and it’s stronger because it’s very distinct.”
Alongside the trainers, Jones created a boot and carafe, both informed by both the original tissue paper wrappers that Hennessy XO was packed in and the draping technique used to make dresses.
“When I saw how the vintage Hennessy bottles were packaged, it spoke volumes to me about how precious each bottle is and how they were handled,” Jones said.
“I thought to look at the shape of the bottle,” he continued. “It’s almost like a ball gown, in a sense. But without making it look historical, you want it to look modern, so you take the aspect of the metallic and the idea of the curtains going up, not down.”
The decanter was cast in titanium, completely enveloping the inner bottle “like an architectural second skin”. To extract the liquid, Jones also designed a fusil.
For the bottle, which was described as the ready-to-wear version, an aluminum seconds skin was made. For both, Kim approached the design as if he were designing a piece of clothing.
“We treated it like a mini pattern, just like you would a piece of clothing,” he explained. “And that’s like the central aspect of it that’s also really interesting.”
“With clothing you can adjust it very quickly, with a piece of metal being molded and made, it takes time and your original idea doesn’t necessarily turn out the way you want it to be at the beginning because of technical aspects of it ,” He continued.
“So it comes back in different stages and different processes. And it’s interesting just to see how it changes and evolves.”
Previous bottles designed for Hennessy include a limited-edition piece made of curled gold by Gehry to mark the 150th anniversary of Hennessy XO and an angular bottle designed by Libeskind for the Richard Hennessy cognac.
The photograph is by Brett Lloyd and Hennessy.