The 1996 Irodori and 1998 collaboration with Karl Lagerfeld had seen Dom Pérignon dip their toe in to the water with the hottest designers of the day. The limited editions had both been a critical and consumer success selling out almost instantly, and a new marketing strategy was born.
The early part of the millennium saw Dom change their creative agency. Neville Brody were now on point to give the brand a refreshed direction and, as such, regular packaging for Dom at this time was full of frequent stylistic changes. Perhaps as a consequence, no designer editions were initially offered for the 2000 vintage.
Never one to be behind the curve, the next Dom Pérignon special edition packaging would push things further than ever before, putting a twist on the iconic shield label for the first time in the brand’s 74 year history.
Andy Warhol was (and still is) a cultural art icon, famed for his pop art designs that took (amongst others) household brands and re-imagined them via silk-screen prints. Just as he had done with Campbell’s Soup, it was time to create a vivid and varied composition of a well-known image. It was time to deconstruct and elevate the iconic Dom Pérignon design.
Passing away in February 1987, Warhol was clearly unavailable to supervise the designs himself, so the Design Laboratory housed within Central Saint Martin’s School of Art and Design in London were commissioned for the piece. In full collaboration with the Andy Warhol Foundation, their task was to harness the Warhol legacy and establish Dom Pérignon as both a heritage and cultural brand.
Released in October 2010, just a month after the standard 2002 vintage, the fruits of this collaboration culminated in a collector’s edition that initially spanned 3 different bottle designs.
During his life Warhol had long been a devoted fan of Dom Pérignon Champagne. The hedonism of the 1970’s, his personal wealth, as well as the famous clientele and social situations through his regular frequenting of the Studio 54 nightclub, saw him treating it as his ‘go-to’ Champagne brand.
The limited edition Dom Pérignon release would call out one specific date from his infamous (and badly punctuated) posthumously published diaries; March 8th 1981.
“Went to the gallery where they were having a little exhibition of the glittery Shoes, and had to do interviews and pics for the German newspaper and then we had to go back to the hotel and be picked up by the ‘2,000’ people – it’s a club of twenty guys who got together and they’re going to buy 2,000 bottles of Dom Pérignon which they will put in a sealed room until the year 2,000 and then open it up and drink it and so the running joke is who will be around and who won’t…”
Taking the quote at face value, there is nothing to suggest that Warhol himself was a member of the ‘2,000 people’ as he referred to being ‘picked up’ by them, and that ‘they’ were going to stockpile the Dom.
To this day there is little evidence that the club managed to ever seal the deal or purchase any Dom. Despite an incredibly alluring bounty, surviving members of the 20-strong group never surfaced over the millennium, and neither did the room or storage vault heaving with 2,000 bottles. Andy, of course, would depart this earth a good 13 years ahead of the planned millennial party, so it will therefore probably remain a well embellished myth.
Assuming for a second that the club did manage to make the purchase, in 1981 they would have been looking at buying up the remaining stocks of the very good 1971 vintage or the more recent OK (but available in large quantities) 1973. Both vintages were still openly available in the early millennium as part of the Dom library Oenotheque releases.
As far as the UK was concerned the Warhol bottles were initially released at high end retailers such as Harrods and Selfridges, followed (where availability allowed) by high street merchants including Majestic (albeit without their card packaging). Keeping things simple the UK release in October 2010 comprised three different bottle labels (red, blue, yellow) priced at £150 each. Each was housed in a black coffin box and encased in a printed Warhol outer sleeve.
In the USA and elsewhere, a fuller set of 6 labelled bottles were issued alongside matching branded flutes featuring coloured shields.
Shortly after, normal style wine glasses were also produced for launch events featuring the colourised shield design, but there was no suggestion that these were commercially available. The Flute pack edition for the UK featured flute glasses with a simpler silver shield logo.
The revised Warhol labelling was then back-dated to the previously ‘designer’ missed 2000 vintage (which was much more apt for the 2000 club!).
Photo Credit: Carrie Godsiff
In 2011, a further set of limited edition labels were issued for both the 2000 and 2002 editions with a metallic style label and slightly varied colour designs.