You would possibly count on a designer collaborating with a champagne home to conjure up an aesthetically pleasing bottle or label, and maybe some merch to match. However this was not the case for Stella McCartney’s latest collaboration with Veuve Clicquot. As an alternative, it was about what they may give her: particularly, the stalks, skins, pulp, and discarded fruits left over from the grape harvest, which takes place every year between September and October.
The reason being Vegea, a pioneering leather-based various from Italy constructed from the leftovers of large-scale grape farming. Based in 2016 by furnishings designer Gianpiero Tessitore and industrial chemist Francesco Merlino, it’s solvent- and metal-free, and doesn’t use any environmentally dangerous substances. It additionally evokes actual leather-based in weight and suppleness.
McCartney has been utilizing Vegea for a while. She says, ‘In the future I mentioned to Bernard Arnault [CEO of luxury goods group LVMH, of which Stella McCartney is a part]: “I’m placing luggage down my runway constructed from grape waste from the Italian wine trade, so why are we not doing it with certainly one of your champagnes?”.’ Lower than 18 months later, a woven ‘Frayme’ bucket bag, created from Vegea leather-based constructed from Veuve Clicquot grapes, appeared on the Stella McCartney catwalk.
Stella McCartney’s grape-leather luggage
Now obtainable for pre-order in limited-edition numbers, every is adorned with a tag evocative of a bunch of grapes, that includes a QR code that particulars the bag’s development and traceable origins. An accompanying pair of platform sandals are additionally constructed from Vegea and have a sole made out of popped corks from Café Clicquot, the restaurant on the home’s cellars in Reims.
The area’s strict legal guidelines about champagne manufacturing implies that McCartney can hint the uncooked materials all the best way again to a single patch of grand cru winery within the village of Bouzy, the place Veuve Clicquot grows the grapes to create the purple wine wanted for the home’s rosé champagne. The method of blending wines on this method was pioneered by the eponymous Madame Clicquot, who took over the corporate after her husband’s dying and first bought this winery patch two centuries in the past.
‘Madame Clicquot’s improvements revolutionised the champagne trade,’ says McCartney. ‘She created classic champagne and blended rosé champagne, and helped form the fashionable champagne bottle, all at a time when only a few companies have been owned by girls [a legal loophole allowed her to inherit the vineyard as a widow]. She was really a disruptor.’
The patch of land can be distinctive in Veuve Clicquot’s dedication to regenerative agriculture, which largely centres on the rejection of herbicides in favour of pure and conventional methods. One such technique is grazing sheep within the vineyards, which has been proven to enhance soil high quality and the bioavailability of vitamins, making for high quality grapes and considerable harvests.
‘Regenerative agriculture is a long-term dedication – it demonstrates our spirit of local weather entrepreneurship,’ says Veuve Clicquot CEO Jean-Marc Gallot. ‘We’re at all times testing new practices to drive the change – eco-grazing, cowl cropping or [using] inexperienced manure, to call only a few.’
Gallot says he’s assured that this preliminary collaboration with McCartney may be scaled up, and believes that such improvements must be shared with different champagne producers (‘shared, open and collective’ is how he describes the home’s strategy to such regenerative practices, which have gotten an increasing number of the norm within the area).
‘I do know numerous our prospects do not know they’re shopping for a non-leather bag, which simply exhibits there’s no must kill a couple of billion creatures yearly,’ says McCartney, who has by no means used animal merchandise in her collections and has been certainly one of vogue’s most steadfast sustainability advocates. ‘I imagine we are able to get to a spot the place leather-based options are seen in the identical method as the actual factor.’
The Stella McCartney Frayme Veuve Clicquot Bucket Bag is offered for pre-order at stellamccartney.com.
A model of this text seems within the March 2024 Fashion Problem of Wallpaper* obtainable in print, on the Wallpaper* app on Apple iOS, and to subscribers of Apple Information +. Subscribe to Wallpaper* in the present day.