The UK-based wine and spirits group Allied Domecq is to launch a luxury brand line, which will include clothes and accessories for its Cognac brand Courvoisier.

The brand will be called Atelier Courvoisier and is under the creative design direction of fashion designers Brian Wolk and Claude Morais of Ruffian.

The collection will include a range of men's and women's apparel and accessories inspired by Napoleon. Allied said there will be "a heavy emphasis on luxury and classicism with a modern twist".
"Napoleon is a man of mythological proportions. In his time he democratised fashion and an ideal of high style that still holds true today. His influence is evident everywhere and his legacy lives on in the fashions we will create for Atelier Courvoisier," said Claude Morais, creative design director for Atelier Courvoisier and Ruffian.

Ruffian joins Atelier Courvoisier, which will be based in New York City, with an impressive resume, including projects with Julien McDonald, Chanel, and Francis Ford Coppola. "We are thrilled to be working with such a prestigious brand. In our work, we are consumed with the individual, style and authenticity. The opportunity to combine these elements within Atelier Courvoisier is a challenge we embrace," said Brian Wolk, Creative Design Director for Atelier Courvoisier and Ruffian.

David Hayes, who has been named general manager of Atelier Courvoisier said: "Ultimately, we are creating a lifestyle brand that will capture the imagination of highly fashionable men and women around the world."

Atelier Courvoisier premiered its inaugural women's and men's line with a presentation of the collection at New York's fashion week. The Atelier Courvoisier collection will be sold in boutiques and select department stores in key cities in fall of 2004.

"Allied Domecq believes that the influence of the Courvoisier trademark has already transcended the beverage alcohol industry, earning it attention and respect from fashion tastemakers around the world," said Kim Manley, chief marketing officer, Allied Domecq PLC. "We are making an investment in the people and resources to develop what we believe will be products that capture the imagination of consumers, but retain the essence of the Courvoisier trademark."