Absolut Elyx Now Sells Pineapple Cuff Links, Sequined Blazers
The luxury spirits company turns its lens on lifestyle with copper bow ties and shimmery turbans that scream New Year's Eve sparkle.
For Absolut Elyx CEO Jonas Tahlin, 2017 will be remembered as the year the vodka brand shifted its focus from selling the liquid inside that elegant copper coupe you're drinking to selling the sequined turban you should be wearing while drinking it.
"We launched the Elyx boutique," he says. "We changed from being a vodka brand into being a lifestyle brand."
Inside the online shop, find Julia Clancey turbans and Any Old Iron sequined blazers and bow ties, as well as gnome cuff links, banana leaf and pineapple damask wallpapers, an assortment of bar tools and the signature copper drinking vessels for which the brand has become known. The international symbol for hospitality and Elyx's mascot, it all started with the pineapple.
"We created the copper pineapple cups for The Edition hotel in Miami," Tahlin says. "It became the most Instagrammed thing in the entire hotel. That's when we realized that, 'Wow! We're really on to something.' We [captured the] imagination with joyful bespoke happy pieces that people can enjoy the vodka out of. When we noticed the amount of thefts we were getting whenever we had parties, that's when we [said], 'if there's such a demand for these [items] lets make them available.'"
Due to the overwhelming popularity of the pineapples, soon there were copper cups in the form of flamingos, owls and gnomes popping up in chic watering holes and at to-die-for parties from coast to coast.
The mastermind behind the marketing is Elyx’s creative director Miranda Dickson, who envisions the product concepts and designs, which are then created by a team of partners who bring the items and packaging to life.
"Copper is simply the cornerstone to our brand. The use of copper in the distillation process is unique to Elyx. We use a hand-operated vintage still from 1921 made entirely from copper as well as additional copper packets which remove off flavors and give Elyx its silky smooth mouthfeel and character," Dickson says. "We celebrate copper both on the Elyx bottle and [now] within our Elyx boutique — where every item is either made from copper itself or using copper as a color."
After the success of the drinking vessels, Elyx decided to take it to the next level and began looking for like-minded creatives in the fashion world to create garments that reflected their aesthetic. The original goal was to outfit brand ambassadors for all those fabulous events and parties — but that idea grew into an apparel and accessories collection for the online retail store. Fred Segal and The Grove also have played host to Elyx boutique pop ups.
Dickson was introduced to Julia Clancey, an L.A.-based British designer known for her ultra-glam bespoke accessories, custom gowns and ready-to-wear turbans and caftans, by a mutual friend. Clancey was invited to L.A.'s Elyx House and Tahlin's home, an entertaining showroom for the brand.
"I came up to the house and [Dickson] opened the door and she was a vision in this peacock caftan," Clancey says. "And I was like, 'Hello.' And from that moment, it was like we'd known each other forever. [When I stepped in the house, I said] 'OK, I get it.' There are moments in your life when brands align."
From there, Clancey styled Elyx's billboard campaign and it was the designer's headpieces that caught Dickson's eye.
"When you put on a sequined turban, you really do feel quite fabulous. When I go out in a turban, it always gets attention," Clancey says. "Both of our brands are going after the discerning customer who wants something special and unique. We had turbans in all of the shots. They became linked with the whole luxury element."
The momentum of the swirling head wrap has been building in recent seasons, and while Clancey has been doing them for a few years, other designers have embraced the trend. "Marc Jacobs put a turban on every single model on his runway this season," she says. "And it's a wonderful thing for me because it draws attention to my brand."
When Dickson went to stock the store, a collaboration with Clancey was a no-brainer and the turban was the ticket. Now four different styles of headwear exclusively made for Elyx and ranging from $139 to $159 can be found in the boutique.
Julia also suggested Dickson check out her brother Andrew Clancey's Nashville-based rock ’n’ roll vibe clothing line Any Old Iron, which features many eclectic pieces including sequin blazers. Dickson thought the sparkly outerwear would be perfect for the Elyx brand ambassadors and the bold look of the jackets made them true conversation starters. It was only natural that they would end up in the boutique as well, in a men’s and women’s version priced at $999.
"Anyone who wants to turn heads, have fun and meet people — these jackets light up the room," Andrew says. “Put one on for half an hour and you'll get it. It’s about going out and being a peacock, dressing like you’re a rock star. Being at the best party having the best time and looking fantastic."
"Julia's copper turbans have become something of a cult piece now with the ladies and Andrew’s jackets and bow ties are really the ultimate party accessory," Dickson says.
The Absolut brand, of course, has artistic partnerships in its DNA as evidenced by its long-standing ad campaigns, which have been contributed to by pop-culture figures from Andy Warhol and Keith Haring to Damien Hirst and Lady Gaga.
"It's essential for us to always provide creative innovative lifestyle products of exceptional quality to ensure a divine customer experience," Dickson says. "We spent three years developing Elyx and our production standards are of the highest quality — so it makes sense for us to have the same approach to the Elyx boutique."
With items perfect for holiday parties or New Year’s Eve soirees, shopping the Elyx boutique will make you look good and feel good, too. For every purchase made, Elyx makes a financial contribution to Water for the People — a nonprofit committed to providing safe water solutions for everybody in the world.