Highsnobiety

Over the last ten years, the NBA has become the preeminent sports league dominating the “new luxury” space. Whether it's fit gods like Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Kyle Kuzma strutting down player tunnels in their latest designer looks or the myriad of celebrities seated courtside on any given night, professional basketball is IN right now in a big way.

But why is it that now, the league that was almost disbanded in the early 80s for poor viewership is sought after by some of the most notable brands in the world? Undoubtedly, it all starts with the community.

Moët & Chandon / Thomas Welch, Moët & Chandon / Thomas Welch

Despite the league’s elevated status within culture, it feels like this was never something the NBA was searching for. Instead, everyone on the outside is trying to find a way to be a part of this genuine culture highlighted by the athletes on the floor and the fans who choose to support them night in and night out. Just watch one game at Madison Square Garden, and you’ll understand the deep appreciation so many people have for the game of basketball.

In honor of the authentic nature of the pinnacle sports league and all those who add to its dynamic community, Moët & Chandon, the Official Champagne of the NBA, tapped multifaceted creative Don C to add a new layer to pro basketball’s ever-evolving image.

Moët & Chandon / Thomas Welch, Moët & Chandon / Thomas Welch

As a long-time fan of the NBA, the Just Don Founder calls out a shift in how people perceive the sport as one of the biggest reasons for its surge in popularity.

“As a kid, I always saw the value of luxury in the sports space, and I felt like nobody else really championed that,” Don shares. “Now, I feel like more people are seeing the intersection between the two worlds and are starting to champion it themselves.”

After taking on the title of Creative Strategy and Design Advisor for his hometown Chicago Bulls in 2022, the accomplished designer has experienced the NBA from multiple perspectives, gaining a 360-degree view of the league and how it empowers organizations, players, and fans alike.

Moët & Chandon / Thomas Welch, Moët & Chandon / Thomas Welch

Merging the diversity of the NBA with the heritage of the luxury Champagne House, Don C designed a vibrant collection that celebrates the essence of both heralded brands. Utilizing his refined eye for detail, Don applies a fun and whimsical style to Moët & Chandon’s longstanding history, embossing the brand’s Moët Impérial and Nectar Impérial Rosé bottles with logos inspired by eight different teams from around the league.

Capping off the limited drop, the imaginative creative mirrors design elements found on the bottles for an exclusive hoodie that employs the sense of individuality both Moët & Chandon and the NBA cherish.

Moët & Chandon / Thomas Welch, Moët & Chandon / Thomas Welch

In the spirit of community, Don C and Moët & Chandon hosted a celebration in Los Angeles to commemorate the collab, bringing together a group of Don's closest friends to share in a night of amity.

Located at the beautiful Sheats-Goldstein Residence, Don C and Moët & Chandon curated an intimate dinner party that reflected the principles of passion and kinship infused in the collection. With sounds from famed DJ Chase B, and in the presence of the NBA’s Larry O’Brien Trophy, Don C and friends popped a few bottles of signature Moët & Chandon champagne, celebrating in style among good company.

Check out our conversation with the eclectic designer, where he speaks more on the collab, his extravagant party, and some of his favorite celebratory moments in NBA history.

Moët & Chandon / Thomas Welch, Moët & Chandon / Thomas Welch

How does Moët & Chandon and the NBA differ from other luxury collabs?

It's more of a strategic partnership between iconic brands that add value to each other. They uphold the aesthetic of each other. It's natural; you pop the bottles when you win the championship. So this is the crescendo of the moment where the brands can come together and celebrate that.

You talked about how they complement each other. What qualities between Moët & Chandon and the NBA are similar in your mind that make this relationship so seamless?

Oh, man! Iconic, authentic, and valued in high regard amongst everyone in the community and its peers. They are both the pinnacle of their respective categories. It's a natural marriage that marks the celebratory moment of all moments. And the NBA and Moët & Chandon are the ones that bring that to you.

Why do you think all these luxury brands are attracted to the NBA now?

The league's qualities and principles are what draw these brands in. Excitement, individuality. The NBA is built on the individualism of the players. We promote the players to be these bigger-than-life superstars.

Moët & Chandon / Thomas Welch, Moët & Chandon / Thomas Welch

We know you work closely with the Chicago Bulls as a creative consultant. What differences in the feel of community have you noticed from being a fan to switching to working on the inside?

I'm privileged to have the position to see things from different sides of the coin. I'm a lifelong fan of the NBA, and the community continues to grow. Before, it was a tight niche, and now being able to open the door for people like me who are fans, at the end of the day, is a blessing.

We're talking about two pinnacle brands coming together to channel the spirit of celebration. What do you think this collab adds to the luxury space?

I was really impressed by the empathy used when creating this collab - we put our all into something that will positively impact a future generation. Moët & Chandon gave somebody with a different perspective, like me, a chance to add to what they're doing. That's why when you look at the bottle, it's so expressive and eye-catching because it's communicating so many different things simultaneously.

Moët & Chandon / Thomas Welch, Moët & Chandon / Thomas Welch

How does the party you hosted embody the essence of the collaboration?

Come on, man! We had music, good vibes, beautiful people, great times, encouragement, and a beautiful setting! So all of that mixed together makes for nothing but a good time. We have to celebrate these things and keep building this community so everybody can feel like this.

Obviously, this is a collab tied to the NBA. What’s your favorite celebratory moment in NBA history?

The Shot, 1989. Michael Jordan over Craig Ehlo. That's one of the best moments. Seeing the bottom of Jordan's shoes in the air when he hit that shot, iconic, man! My dad and I were watching that game in my basement and had the chance to share that moment. I do wish my dad could see me now. He's the one that encouraged and educated me in basketball. That moment always sticks out in my brain.

Shop the collab at ourcellar.com.

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