The premium drinks name and award-winning furniture and lighting designer team up to reveal new facets of the XO decanter and Rémy Martin XO on ice.
The premium spirit brand that consistently appeals to the most discerning connoisseurs, Rémy Martin, has only gone and teamed up with one of the most respected creative talents in the UK, Lee Broom. A true innovator, Broom unveils his reinterpretation of the iconic XO decanter, the first ever since the original’s creation. And, of course, the limited-edition product has established a new tasting ritual: Rémy Martin XO on ice.With both parties dedicated to incorporating seamless perfection, heritage, and craft into their works, the collaboration becomes one of kismet.
“We had our launch event at The Connaught Hotel last month, but what’s funny is that was the place we first discussed the project almost three years prior over a bottle of XO and some cocktails at The Connaught Bar,” comments Broom. “The seed was first planted, and a great partnership was born. Like most good partnerships it was effortless and completely organic.”
To celebrate the launch of the limited-edition Rémy Martin XO decanter, the premium spirit brand is now inviting shoppers to divulge in the radiant universe of Rémy Martin on Ice. Through a fully immersive 3D-rendered mobile experience, whether you wish to savour it at home, alone or with friends, discover the designers’ aspirations and processes.
Scroll below to shop the limited-edition XO decanter at selfridges.com and read Wonderland’s interview with Lee Broom…
Hey Lee! How are you? How has this past year been for you?
It has been an exciting year. As well as collaborating with Rémy Martin, I have just launched a new lighting collection in Milan. Marking the brand’s 15-year anniversary, Divine Inspiration is our first lighting release in four years – and it showcases a series of new ethereal lighting pieces in a range of materials including a limited-edition collection in white plaster which is hand crafted by myself in our factory. Divine Inspiration is our largest Milan Design Week installation to date. The show was designed to take you on an experiential journey inspired by places of worship, contemplating how light is often linked to hallowed places, evoking a sense of stillness, reverence, and contemplation.
Talk us through your career, how did you first get into furniture and lighting designing? What about it keeps you going?
I originally trained as an actor and was a professional child actor until I was 17, so my original career path wasn’t design at all. As a child, I loved design and my dad was an artist, so I was always sketching and drawing. I particularly liked architecture and fashion. When I was 17, I entered a fashion competition called The Young Designer of The Year which was judged by Vivienne Westwood, and I won. This then led to me working for her in London and Paris for around ten months before going on to study fashion design at Central Saint Martins. Living and studying in London is expensive so to support myself, I would offer décor advice for a number of independent bars and nightclubs across London which cemented an organic move into interiors. I used to make mirror frames and curtains and upholstery, and this soon turned into a small business. Just after graduation in 2000 I was commissioned along with my friend and colleague from Central St Martins, Maki Aoki, to work on a nine-month-long project for the design of what was to become London bar Nylon. After the project was nominated for the Evening Standard Bar of the Year Award, we set up an interior design practice called Makilee Design, which created interiors for independent bars, clubs, and restaurants across London. After Maki moved back to Japan, I decided to launch a furniture and lighting brand under my own name in 2007.
And now you’re collaborating with Rémy Martin, how did this come about?
We had our launch event at The Connaught Hotel last month, but what’s funny is that was the place we first discussed the project almost three years prior over a bottle of XO and some cocktails at The Connaught Bar. The seed was first planted, and a great partnership was born. Like most good partnerships it was effortless and completely organic.
And for this collaboration, you have designed a limited-edition decanter, what was your thought process going into this? Where did you pull your inspiration?
I studied the original, iconic Rémy Martin XO glass decanter, and injected it with a distinctive edge by carving hundreds of fine ‘starburst’ cuts into the indents of its solar shape. Inspired by icicles, these cuts not only amplify the radiance and opulence of the blend, but also the fabulous array of aromas revealed with the addition of a single ice cube. I wanted to convey the opulence of Rémy Martin XO, but also the experience of serving it on ice, which is a beautiful way to taste cognac. The cuts convey a sense of icicles as well as radiance around the circumference of the bottle. They bring a sense of coldness.
Working with Rémy Martin, what does this collaboration mean to you?
It is an honour to work on such a unique and iconic decanter and put my own twist on it. The collaboration marks a moment when a new generation of cognac connoisseurs are drinking this classic spirit. It has always been enjoyed neat, and mixed into cocktails, and the trend now is to appreciate the deep aromatic flavours of XO on ice.
As a brand, how would you describe Rémy Martin in three words?
Excellence, innovation, heritage.
As a creative, it can often be hard to put your ideas into fruition, for you how would you describe that process?
I sketch a lot and collate images all the time. I’m never without my sketchbook, so I have a library of designs which I then develop together with my design and production teams. Each aspect and development stage of creating a product gives me the opportunity to constantly evolve. We’re always experimenting with new materials and new styles in the studio, which also makes it exciting for people who like my work – they never know what to expect next.
What is next for you? What are you most excited for?
We will be creating different iterations of products from our latest Milan show and we will also be celebrating our 15 year anniversary in autumn – I have a surprise release for then.