Veuve Clicquot Taps Yayoi Kusama For Limited-Edition Champagne

Food & Drink

To herald in the house’s 2012 vintage, Veuve Clicquot has paired up with esteemed visual artist Yayoi Kusama to release a limited-edition Champagne.

For the collaboration, a new vintage of the French Champagne house’s prestige cuvée, La Grande Dame, will be sold nestled in a case designed by Kusama. (Price point for the Champagne sits at a surprisingly affordable $195 SRP.)

The collaboration is also releasing a selection of floral sculptures created by the legendary artist.

Dubbed My Heart That Blooms in the Darkness of Night, the floral sculpture series twists around a magnum bottle of La Grande Dame Veuve Clicquot’s La Grande Dame 2012 vintage. Only 100 numbered pieces are available and each took over 250 hours of work. Retail SRP is $36,000.

Known for larger than life works of color, polka-dots and scale along with her infinity-room installations, Kusama is largely noted as one of the most influential living artists.

Pre-sale for the collection begins September 17 and hits retail shelves in October. 

“Yayoi Kusama’s artistic expression is both generous and deeply optimistic. This resonates with Veuve Clicquot, a House that has always sparkled with optimism and a hopeful sense of joie de vivre, and I believe these shared views are a compelling foundation for our collaboration and are even more striking in the wake of the recent global crisis,” describes Veuve Clicquot president and CEO Jean-Marc Gallot. 

La Grand Dame cuvée is named after Madame Clicquot, a French widow who led the brand to success in the 1800s. 

Kusama has worked with the brand in the past—in 2006, the artist created a portrait of Madame Clicquot out of her signature polka dots for a charity auction. 

“The story began in 2006 when Ms. Kusama used her distinctive polka dot pattern to beautifully reimagine a traditional painting of Madame Clicquot,” continues Gullot. “But in many ways, the shared history goes even deeper: though living different lives in very different places and moments in time, Yayoi Kusama and Madame Clicquot are both remarkably bold women and there are fascinating parallels between their destinies.”

The godmother of Champagne’s namesake cuvée is made with 90% Pinot Noir.

“La Grande Dame 2012 is a wine that is both precise and delicate. It is playful, lively, laughing. This new vintage offers a strong minerality carried by Pinot Noir balanced with the freshness of the blend. Its aging potential is immense, it is a wine whose tasting makes me vibrate,” says Veuve Clicquot’s cellar master Didier Mariotti in a statement.

I dug a little into the world of celebrity Champagne a few weeks back with Beau Joie Champagne’s collaboration with Marchesa. In short, Champagne is a category uniquely posed to flirt with the fashion and art worlds. 

In 2013, Dom Perignon tapped Jeff Koons for a hot pink sculpture, holding a bottle of 2003 Dom Perignon Rosé. It later sold for €15,000. 

Back in 2016, under the advice of creative strategy firm Mission, Veuve Clicquot’s Widow Series (again, named after the entrepreneurial, creative spirit of Madame Clicquot) positioned the brand at various art, theater and dance events (including one curated by FKA twigs). It paid off, and the brand saw a 574% increase in user-generated Instagram content and a 455% increase for overall campaign reach. 

With that in mind, Yayoi Kusama’s new foray into the bubbly world is sure to be one to watch.

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