In 2010, Hennessy released the documentary The Art of Blending, shot by French director Thibaut De Longeville, which documented the Hennessy Artistry event that featured music artists like Chaka, Q-Tip, Erykah Badu, Mary J Blige, Bobby Brown and Eve, all backed by the legendary The Roots. At the time, I moaned incessantly to the then SA Brand Manager that I wasn’t invited to it. I did, however, get to experience a similar event in Joburg featuring music legends like Sipho ‘Hotstix” Mabuse as well as contemporary artists. They’ve also since held Artistry events in China, Barbados and Manila.
For me, this is an example of a brand entrenching itself authentically in a particular space. The other thing they do well, in my humble opinion, is the collaboration with artists to create special/limited edition designed bottles for Hennessy VS. A favourite will always be the bottle they did with KAWS. Sadly, all the bottles I had in my house were consumed. I still need one for my collection (hint… hint). They’ve also collaborated with Futura, and Os Gemeos.
The latest in this line is with American artist, Shepard Fairey. The PR spiel attached to this project states: The collaboration between Hennessy and Shepard Fairey has everything to do with their shared values: the never ending quest for excellence, the love of true craftsmanship, the cultivation of consistency, the passion for tradition and innovation. “There is a philosophical connection between the way I work and the way that Hennessy works as a brand,” said the artist about many parallels that could be drawn between his art and Hennessy’s craft.”
As part of the collaboration, Hennessy also produced a limited edition coffee table book that documents the journey taken to come up with the bottle and packaging design as well background on Shepard Fairey, his design aesthetic, and artistic life.
I must confess, I love projects like this and dream of the day I do a couple myself.