Marc Newson has literally shaped products for Ford, Apple, and Louis Vuitton. His iconic Lockheed Lounge sold for $3.7 million in 2015 — a record for a living designer at auction. Now, the renowned designer has brought his talents to the world of cognac by designing the Hennessy X.O 2017 limited edition bottle.
As a streamlined variation on the bottle’s iconic shape, the design amplifies the blend inside while giving the spirit a modern aesthetic. Newson pared the bottle’s shape to its purest form and then chose to reprise its traditional decorative motifs – grapes and leaves – in a corrugated relief.
“It’s both an honor and a little daunting to approach an icon like Hennessy X.O,” said Newson. “Clearly, this Cognac has transcended time and continues to live in a very contemporary way. As a designer it’s important to me to create things that will likewise stand the test of time. The Hennessy X.O bottle has a wonderful fundamental shape. What I wanted to do was use design to magnify the Cognac – its color and sensorial qualities – as much as possible.”
To reinforce the modern spirit of the new design, Newson and Hennessy also created a modern gift box presentation. To highlight both the blend and the glass, Newson designed a clear transparent gift box.
“Straight lines seemed to me a more modern interpretation of what already existed,” explained Newson. “To me, the stripes [on the bottle] really emphasize the strength of the decanter’s shape. When they catch the light, they highlight both the bottle and the contents, making the whole feel warmer and more tactile. Taken together, all of these design elements are meant to convey the unique, immersive experience of Hennessy X.O.”
Originally from Sydney, Australia, the London-based Newson has been described as the most influential designer of his generation. His designs span a wide range of disciplines, from transport to sculptural pieces and architecture. A recipient of numerous awards and distinctions, Newson has been included in Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World. His work is present in many major museum collections, including the MoMA in New York, the Victoria & Albert and the Design Museum of London and the Centre Pompidou in Paris.
The Hennessy X.O 2017 limited edition is Newson’s second project with Hennessy. In 2015, he designed the striking decanter for James Hennessy Cognac, available exclusively in select travel retail destinations.