On Thursday evening, Woodford Reserve, the premium small-batch Kentucky-based bourbon company, hosted a private dinner during NYFW at Manhatta to announce its partnership with fashion designers Sergio Hudson and Anifa Mvuemba, of Hanifa.
At the celebration to mark the occasion titled, “A Spectacle for the Senses,” guests were treated to a culinary experience with specialty cocktails pairings using Woodford Reserve’s bourbon.
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Exploring the intersection of bourbon and fashion, Mvuemba and Hudson have been tasked with creating a sartorial narrative from the company’s extensive 200 flavor notes in a single bottle. Mvuemba and Hudson both recently made the trip down to the distillery in Woodford County, Ky., for inspiration and spoke about their excitement in embarking on this new project.
Mvuemba said at the dinner that as Black designers, she and her peers often get shortlisted for collaborations as a way to check off the diversity box; she later thanked the bourbon company for spending time and investing in a long-term partnership with the two designers.
“Partnerships are the key to success, and our participation is a testament to the collaborative spirit that drives innovation and growth in the industry,” Mvuemba told WWD. “Together, we create a powerful force that elevates and transforms the fashion landscape.”
To showcase the brand’s essence beyond the bottle, Mvuemba and Hudson will bring to life “The Flavor Note Collection,” set to make its debut at this year’s 150th Kentucky Derby. While the format for the unveiling is still in the works, both designers will additionally attend the iconic horse racing event — each accompanied by a muse showcasing pieces from the collection.
Lauren Reynolds, global brand director at Woodford Reserve, said the company embodies substance and style — making the new partnership a natural fit for both Mvuemba and Hudson, who both bring unique perspectives to fashion, to team up with the bourbon company.
Beyond this collaboration for the 150th Kentucky Derby between both designers and Woodford Reserve, the partnership notably encompasses the Sergio Hudson fall 2024 show at NYFW and other endeavors upcoming throughout the year.
“Partnering with Woodford on this special collaboration has been an amazing ride,” Hudson said. “Discovering how my vision aligns with the Woodford Reserve has been a lot of fun and allows me a chance to explore in new and interesting ways. I always say my clients are my biggest inspiration, so I’m eager to be able to refine the enthusiasm I get from them and inject that perspective into this project.”
The partnership marks the company’s continued expansion into the lifestyle and fashion space. Previously, Woodford Reserve teamed up with Baccarat for a special edition bottle and created a lifestyle e-book titled “The Spirits of Style” with photographer Joshua Kissi.
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