WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT THE STORY OF AN INGENIOUS 17TH CENTURY MONK WOULD RESULT IN A PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN THE WORLD’S MOST PRESTIGIOUS CHAMPAGNE PRODUCER AND MUSIC ICON, LENNY KRAVITZ? THE FAMED BRAND NAMED THE ROCK START CREATIVE DIRECTOR OF ITS MOST RECENT RELEASE, VINTAGE 2009.
The idea for this collaboration stemmed from the long friendship between Lenny Kravitz and Richard Geoffroy, Dom Perignon’s Cellar Master. One evening, after a performance by Kravitz, Geoffroy told the star how he had found the energy of his concert to be a source of inspiration when creating his new vintage. Kravitz did not need much convincing to join the project and, several months later, a partnership was born!
A sunny fall day in Manhattan was the setting for the opening of the photo exhibit documenting the collaboration between the legendary Dom Perignon and Kravitz. Welcomed with great fanfare to the Skylight Modern, we had the privilege of walking through the gallery in the company of Lenny.
This private visit offered an opportunity to chat with Kravitz, who began by explaining that the exhibit title “Assemblage” was in fact the common thread between the show itself and Dom Perignon’s latest release. After all, the moment of assemblage, or blending, is, in Geoffroy’s words, the crucial moment when magic happens, the instant when all the elements interconnect to create a whole that is bigger than the sum of its parts.
This project inspired Kravitz to invite people from various fields (actresses Susan Sarandon and Abbey Lee; choreographer, Benjamin Millepied; actor, Harvey Keitel; soccer player, Hidetoshi Nakata; and designer, Alexander Wang) for a timeless evening to immortalize the intangible effects of this assemblage, in film.
One has only to look at these photographs to understand that they are not mere portraits but the record of a group of individuals who came together to embody the now, the spirit of celebration, a sense of community, the joy of sharing, desire; in short, life.
They are not mere portraits but the record of a group of individuals who came together to embody the now, the spirit of celebration, a sense of community, the joy of sharing.
While the photo exhibit is a purely artistic stand-alone entity, Kravitz is also creative director of the advertising campaign, and has created video shorts starring his guests to spotlight various aspects of the Dom Perignon brand.
For example, one video discusses how Benjamin Millepied, with his uncompromising vision, creates grace, strength and elegance by organically blending the old and the new. In another video, Kravitz describes Susan Sarandon as clever, sexy and inspiring, which makes her a compassionate, powerful woman admired for her authenticity, attributes that are also dear to the brand.
When one compares these artist portraits with the iconic Champagne house’s Vintage 2009, one sees how the essence of what Kravitz has captured in his series of photos is completely consistent with what Richard Geoffroy has produced for his last blend (he will pass the torch to his assistant, Vincent Chaperon, at the end of the year). These two icons have truly managed to build a bridge between two art forms, creating a whole that straddles both continuity and innovation.
This consistency is also present in an exceptional wine that features a languid mélange of grapefruit, peach and nectarine. The mouthfeel is full-bodied and voluptuous with a perfectly balanced fruit ripeness. For the finish, there is an intriguing minerality and faint trace of saline with an incredibly delicate persistence.
The final product of the partnership between these two exceptional men definitely lives up to the high standards set in their respective careers. Kravitz clearly demonstrates that his status as a multidisciplinary artist is richly deserved; Geoffroy, as he prepares to step down, has ensured the continued good health of the house of Dom Perignon.