PUTTING THE URBAN INTO URBANE
Hennessy is anything but old-fashioned
The classic cognac brand is mixing things up
There’s a good chance that you think of cognac as the tipple of fusty old men in wood-panelled hunting lodges. If cognac brand Hennessy is anything to go by, however, you may have to reconsider your position on the century-old liquor. In fact, it seems the French liquor house is determined to prove that the region-specific brandy varietal is anything but old-fashioned. Since 2011 it has collaborated with eight of the world’s most iconic urban artists (think graffiti, street art and tattoo artists) on its Hennessy Very Special (VS) Limited Edition range of bottles and murals. Some of the big names it has roped in so far include American Shepard Fairey — the man who designed the Barack Obama "Hope" poster — and his fellow Stateside creatives JonOne and Futura. Hennessy’s latest collaboration is with Portuguese street artist Vhils. To mark this match-up, Vhils has just finished producing one of his signature artworks in Johannesburg’s Maboneng Precinct. The artist started out as an old...