Jay-Z and LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE are joining forces in the Champagne business, further cementing the alliance between the world of hip-hop and luxury as the Covid-19 pandemic saps sales of the festive wine world-wide.
LVMH, the world’s biggest producer of Champagne, has taken a 50% stake in Armand de Brignac, the high-end Champagne brand owned by Jay-Z, the rapper and mogul. The brand, one of the youngest in the famed sparkling wine region, is known for its metallic bottles that cost hundreds of dollars each.
The investment, LVMH and Jay-Z said, is aimed at growing Armand de Brignac through LVMH’s global distribution networks while drawing upon the conglomerate’s vast resources within Champagne wine country. It comes at a difficult moment for Champagne: The pandemic canceled weddings, soirees and other occasions to pop corks, cutting sales of the wine by around 20% last year. The two sides didn’t disclose the value of the transaction.
“We were working really hard to maintain a brand that was growing faster than the staff we had and bigger than some of the expertise we had,” Jay-Z, born Shawn Carter, said in an interview. “We’d been in this 15 years, not a hundred.”
The partnership shows how European luxury brands are now embracing Black recording artists and hip-hop culture to appeal to a younger, more diverse clientele. Rihanna and LVMH launched a cosmetics line, Fenty Beauty. The rapper Gucci Mane and his namesake brand, the Italian fashion house Gucci, have collaborated on a collection. Dior, an LVMH brand, has used the rapper A$AP Rocky as a featured model in several menswear collections. Streetwear has become a staple of luxury fashion.