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Why did Moet & Chandon collaborate with Korean-American fashion designer Yoon Ahn?

The historic champagne house chose to work with the creative director of Tokyo-based streetwear label Ambush for the first-ever redesign of its Imperial bottle.

Why did Moet & Chandon collaborate with Korean-American fashion designer Yoon Ahn?

Moet & Chandon has tapped fashion designer Yoon Anh for the redesign of its Imperial bottle. (Photo: Moet & Chandon)

Moet & Chandon has announced its first-ever global collaboration. Partnering with Korean-American fashion designer, Yoon Ahn, the historic champagne house has unveiled a limited-edition bottle of the Moet Imperial.

For the uninitiated, Ahn is the co-founder and creative director of jewellery turned ready-to-wear label, Ambush. Her creations have garnered a celebrity following, often seen on pop icons such as Rihanna, Kanye West, Beyonce and Lady Gaga.

As if that isn't enough, Ahn is also the jewellery director for Dior Men.

It all began in 2008, when Ahn started making jewellery for fun with her husband Verbal, a member of the Japanese rap group Teriyaki Boyz. The pair, who were never formally trained in design, are known for their genre-defying, innovative creations. 

Verbal wore Ambush's creations during his appearances with the Teriyaki Boyz, and it wasn’t long before other rappers – including Kanye West, Pharrell Williams and A$AP Rocky – took interest in the brand.

Anh on a visit to Moet & Chandon's winery in Epernay, France. (Photo: Moet & Chandon)

In 2015, Ambush evolved into making apparel. Two years later, Ahn was nominated for the prestigious LVMH Young Fashion Designer Prize, which attracted major industry players for collaboration, including Nike and Converse. 

It was her close friend Kim Jones, creative director of Dior Men, who appointed her as head of jewellery design at the brand.

The partnership between Moet & Chandon and Anh is particularly momentous as it’s the first time in 152 years that the iconic bottle of Moet Imperial, the label's signature champagne born in 1869, has been designed by an artist.

The champagne house's choice to work with Anh was driven by her pioneering spirit as a "rule-breaker", Moet & Chandon said in a press release.

With her signature minimalist aesthetics, Anh has changed the gold neck of the bottle to a deep shade of black, contrasting it with a new embossed label in white. The eye-catching design is meant to represent a blank slate, “like a window onto a future filled with possibilities for those who dare step forward”, Moet & Chandon said.

The redesigned Moet Imperial bottle features a black ribbon on the neck, along with a new embossed label in white. (Photo: Moet & Chandon)

“I was thrilled to be given carte blanche to redesign the bottle of Moet Imperial. It was a great challenge given its recognisable and iconic codes, but I also saw it as a great opportunity to bring my own aesthetics to this iconic champagne,” Ahn said.

While the bottle itself has been redesigned, the limited-edition of Moet Imperial is filled with the house’s flagship champagne.

In redesigning the bottle, Anh was given complete freedom. (Photo: Moet & Chandon)

As part of the collaboration, a portion of the profits from the sale of the limited-edition Moet & Chandon x Ambush bottles will go to the World Land Trust, a global conservation charity that protects threatened natural habitats. 

The mission of the organisation is to support local conservation partners, like the Fundacion Jocotoco in Ecuador, in their efforts to halt the destruction of ecosystems and protect habitats where rare and endangered species still survive.

Anh selected the cause herself. 

“The devotion of the people at Moet & Chandon to nature and to their precious terroir... inspired me to select the World Land Trust to receive the support of the house, so that together we could help preserve other terroirs around the world,” she said.

The collaboration will specifically aid the charity’s efforts to preserve the Canande Reserve in the Ecuadorian Choco Forest, a spokesperson from World Land Trust said. It will have a direct impact on stopping the deforestation of the Choco, not only to preserve its fragile ecosystem, but also to combat one of the main causes of climate change.

The Moet & Chandon x Ambush Limited Edition bottles will be available in Singapore from Mar 5. They will retail exclusively at 1855 The Bottle Shop Suntec City and the 1855 e-shop.

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Source: CNA/st(ds)