30 September 2021
The world’s most-awarded single malt Scotch whisky and sneaker artisan Chase Shiel push the boundaries of luxury and celebration to champion mastery and craftsmanship.
Glenfiddich has collaborated with custom sneaker artist Chase Shiel to create a limited-edition luxury sneaker inspired by Glenfiddich’s newest expression, Grand Cru, an exclusive whisky matured for 23 years and elegantly finished in rare French cuvée oak casks.
This unexpected creative partnership will see Shiel channel over a decade of experience and expertise in custom sneaker artistry to create a luxurious sneaker that redefines style and reimagines celebration, as does every bottle of Glenfiddich Grand Cru.
Glenfiddich Brand Ambassador Ross Blainey said, “The pairing of sneakers with whisky is very contrary to traditional whisky imagery, and that’s exactly why we did it”.
“Our partnership with Chase reflects Glenfiddich’s desire to push boundaries in how people perceive and enjoy whisky. We’re launching more than just a boundary pushing whisky in Grand Cru, we’re connecting with a lifestyle.”
But the pairing of sneakers and whisky runs deeper than shared values for the award-winning single malt. Demand for high end streetwear amongst the new luxury consumer is growing, driven by millennials who now make up more than half of the world’s luxury sales.
“There are a lot of similarities between sneaker and whisky collecting, as they’re both functional pieces of artwork,” Blainey explained.
“Unlike a painting or sculpture that is created for display, you have to decide on how you want to enjoy your sneaker or whisky.
“Do you showcase it to everyone and keep it forever, or do you use it every day to experience its core purpose but know that it will eventually run its course. That emotional decision forges a real connection to that piece, whatever you decide.”
With these notions in mind, as part of the collaboration, Glenfiddich and Shiel will launch ‘Glenfiddich Grand Cru XXII’, a one-of-a-kind whisky inspired sneaker.
Only 23 pairs are on order, each pair representing a year that Grand Cru has spent in barrels ageing. A limited number of the custom art pieces will be available to the public for purchase online.
The drop date will be announced @glenfiddichwhiskyau with 100 percent of proceeds from the sale donated to a charity close to Shiel’s heart.
Consumers will also have the opportunity to work directly with the highly sought after Shiel to create a customised, premium sneaker that represents a personal moment of their own celebration. ‘The Grand Cru Experience’ ensures your significant life moments are celebrated in style, with each pair accompanied by a bottle of Grand Cru and two smoke grey crystal coupette glasses to toast the occasion.
Shiel has been making and creating footwear for over 13 years and originally studied pattern making for traditional shoes at RMIT.
Shiel explained “For the customisation side of things I started by painting sneakers and then gradually moved into fully remaking the upper”.
Shiel takes inspiration from all over, citing family, friends, others within the industry and creatives that use sneakers and street wear as their preferred medium. Focusing on four key areas; aesthetics, execution, storytelling and unparalleled determination, his work stands out in creativity and handcrafted excellence. Through ‘creative collaboration’ with other makers, Shiel brings elite sneaker concepts to fruition with unrivalled expertise and the finest materials.
“When I designed the custom sneaker, I drew from the grandeur of the Glenfiddich Grand Cru, focusing on the senses of touch, sight and smell to reflect its luxurious nature.”
“Through touch, the smooth and supple black nubuck against the aged diesel black leather.
“Through sight, we can see the perforated black leather with hints of gold shining through the toe box, collar and tongue, bronzed insoles and a gold embroidered explosion noting Grand Cru’s occasion of celebration.
“And finally, smell. By using only the best materials, I can deliver that distinct aroma that only comes from high-quality leathers.”
Daring and unexpected, Grand Cru encapsulates Glenfiddich’s spirit of luxury and craftsmanship as it redefines moments of celebration through a new and extraordinary liquid experience.
Created for the non-conformists, it has been uniquely crafted for those tearing up the rule book and wanting to celebrate significant life moments in a whole new way. Glenfiddich Grand Cru is available in luxury whisky retail outlets and premium establishments at a recommended retail price of AUD$395.