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EXCLUSIVE: Louis XIII Cognac Taps LaQuan Smith to Design First Fashion Collaboration for The Drop

While many spirit houses have found synergy with fashion designers with a number of popular bottle redesigns, the latest fashion collaboration from Louis XIII Cognac is appealing to its consumers’ sense of appreciation for timeless craftmanship and luxury with its debut fashion accessories collection.

The storied, heritage cognac house has announced a partnership with LaQuan Smith, who told WWD he was thrilled when the opportunity presented itself to be a part of “an incredible, iconic heritage brand that is really know for their richness” and was “really excited to start the creative process.” The house’s cognac, he said, is a favorite and his cognac of choice.

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With the limited-edition accessories design partnership for Louis XIII’s The Drop, Louis XIII Cognac and Smith aim to bring a new perspective to the cognac house’s luxury connoisseurs and afficionados. The exclusive collection draws inspiration from The Drop’s beloved format as well as the house’s tasting ritual which come together with Smith’s bold silhouettes and timeless craftmanship. When worn, each is meant to bring the opulence of LaQuan Smith’s signature style to the tasting experience.

Honoring Louis XIII’s level of attention to detail, which he appreciates for matching his own, Smith’s designs pay an ode to the synergy between the two brands dedicated to elevating the everyday art of life. Included in the collection are the Boudoir Gloves and The Drop Chain Pouch. Both accessories are designed for life’s refined moments which could mean an evening out or a night on a red carpet.

The Drop Chain Pouch, made of pure silver, is designed to hold The Drop and is inspired by vintage flasks and bottles which held semi-precious jewels and metals. Notably, precious metals have a long history of being used to hold fine liqueur — the very first Louis XIII decanter was referenced during the sketching process.

“It’s just so great and interchangeable and quite universal,” Smith said of the pouch. “I wanted to create this piece in a way where it almost felt like jewelry, like something really special and unique. I wanted it to be a conversational piece. It’s simplistic but it’s also sexy and it just has a very timeless concept.”

The Boudoir Gloves, created from sustainably sourced mesh with velvet detailing, also bring tradition to modern luxury. In concept, the gloves combine the ritual of using white gloves with LaQuan Smith’s signature sex appeal, bringing Louis XIII Cognac into the boudoir.

The Louis XIII x LaQuan Smith accessories collection.
The Louis XIII x LaQuan Smith accessories collection.

“I think what makes this collaboration so iconic and really organic is just the fact that we do share the same brand DNA, the same brand ethos,” said Smith. “When I think of Louis XIII Cognac and LaQuan Smith, it’s sort of this evolution of the journey, the quest to the quest of finding richness and abundance.”

Smith told WWD that his trip to see Louis XIII Cognac in France was inspirational, giving him a close look at the heritage and history of the house. He explained that seeing the craftmanship of the way the cognac is made with such precision and detail is in some ways a reflection of how he develops LaQuan Smith collections.

At the same time, Smith said, he sees a lot of commonalities between Louis XIII Cognac’s clients and the LaQuan Smith consumer. And importantly, both brands are a key part of celebration.

“I think the ritual aspect is the fact that I’m taking something that is so historically profound and bringing that to a more fashion-forward demographic,” said Smith. “I’m creating for a woman who wants to be the center of attention. I’m creating for the client who has many things to do in her evening nightlife and Louis XIII tends to be the center of focus behind celebrating. It’s a perfect union to be able to combine fashion and cognac and bring it together in a very luxurious way.”

The Louis XIII x LaQuan Smith accessories collection.
The Louis XIII x LaQuan Smith accessories collection.

The Louis XIII x LaQuan Smith collection will launch with a campaign called “A Drop in Time by Louis XIII x LaQuan Smith,” directed by Greg Swales and artistic direction by Carine Roitfeld, featuring model Jasmine Tookes. The campaign tells the story of glamour and high-fashion atmosphere with the timeless spontaneity of Louis XIII’s The Drop.

“There’s a luxury component to the sort of woman or the wearer of The Drop,” said Smith. The campaign, “shows that fantasy. It’s this woman sort of coming into her own and owning her sense of sensuality and femininity. She’s encompassing the world of LaQuan Smith and Louis XIII.”

The Louis XIII x LaQuan Smith accessories collection kicks off a yearlong partnership. In addition to launching the collection and the “A Drop in Time by Louis XIII x LaQuan Smith” campaign, the two brands will be hosting an activation during Smith’s February New York Fashion Week show.

“There’s a lot brewing,” said Smith, “and I’m really excited for the continuation of the partnership.”

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