For the 2020 Holiday season, Maison Martell has renewed its Martell Exclusives initiative, and teamed up with American rapper Quavo, Chinese fashion designer Angel Chen, and French artist Pierre Marie to create limited edition bottles of three different Cognacs for the Pernod Ricard-owned brand’s 2020 Gifting Collection.
Each artist focused on a Martell product that spoke to their personal creative vision, resulting in a series of collectible designs which revisit the legacy of Maison Martell with freedom of expression and a bold, contemporary style. All three designs share a common theme: that of travel, with the international dimension of the House and the founding voyage of Jean Martell proving a rich source of inspiration.
Quavo X Martell Blue Swift
“Martell and I go back a long way. I’m part of the Martell family. This design was inspired by a journey I made to visit Martell in Cognac and my impressions of that experience,” says rapper, songwriter and record producer Quavo, a long-standing ambassador of Maison Martell. His design for the Martell Blue Swift limited-edition gift box mixes Martell icons with symbols of hip-hop culture to evoke the daring fusion represented by this boundary-breaking spirit drink, which is made with VSOP cognac and finished in Kentucky bourbon casks. The gift box is the gateway to an interactive, augmented-reality experience, as certain icons come to life when scanned with a smartphone, revealing more about the savoir-faire behind Martell Blue Swift, as well as Maison Martell’s partnership with Quavo. Inside the box – alongside two engraved tumblers – is a connected bottle, which gives the client access to exclusive content about Quavo and Martell. “I love how Martell Blue Swift changed the way people drink. I’m all about setting trends, changing the game, making a statement – so Martell Blue Swift really speaks to me,” comments Quavo.
Angel Chen X Martell Noblige
One of China’s brightest talents, and a graduate of the prestigious Central Saint Martins college of art and design in London, fashion designer Angel Chen has developed a bold and colourful style which mixes traditional Chinese motifs with modern Western aesthetics, reflecting her cosmopolitan background. “For me, Maison Martell is built on tradition, but also open to the vitality of the contemporary world. This energy is at the core of my inspiration,” she says. Angel Chen captures the vibrant energy of Martell Noblige in an exuberant illustration of a fantastical sea voyage showing a dragon boat navigating raging waves. The design, which covers the
Noblige bottle in her signature colours of red, yellow and blue, is an evocation of Maison Martell’s first shipments to China in 1858, as well as the encounter of East and West represented by this collaboration. “The East meeting the West is an odyssey. It is full of contrasts, surprises, audacity, vibrant intensity,” says Angel Chen – just like her creation for Martell Noblige.
Pierre Marie X Martell Cordon Bleu
Renowned for his exquisitely detailed designs which fuse references to ancestral craft techniques with contemporary visual codes, artist and ornamentist Pierre Marie reinterpreted House icon Martell Cordon Bleu. “When I visited Maison Martell in Cognac, I was fascinated to discover the archives, and in particular the illustrated posters which were used in advertising campaigns. They were the inspiration for the poetic, narrative style of my designs for Martell Cordon Bleu,” he says. The first of the artist’s two designs, each of which is accompanied by a specially composed poem, is entitled The Vine and the Oak. An intricate tracery of leaves and shoots in rich shades of red and gold evokes the “love affair” between the vine and the oak from which cognac is born.
The second design, entitled The Epic Voyage, is exclusive to global travel retail. It illustrates the subsequent journey of the vine and the oak around the world with motifs of ships, trains and hot-air balloons, interspersed with red and gold clouds, a traditional Chinese symbol of good fortune. “I was impressed by the foresight with which Jean Martell and his successors developed the export trade in the 18th century,” explains Pierre Marie. “The vision of the barrels of cognac travelling around the world to far-flung destinations inspired this second theme.” Gracefully interwoven through both designs, which decorate the bottle of Martell Cordon Bleu, is the blue ribbon of excellence, the emblem of this legendary blend, an icon in the world of cognac and beyond.
With Martell Exclusives, Cognac lovers everywhere can come together to celebrate generosity, creativity and audacity during the festive season and beyond.
The Martell Exclusives 2020 gifting collection is currently available from retailers across the globe.