Last year Grey Goose revealed its first limited-edition bottle in the United States. Celebrating its French heritage and toasting to a festive summer, it was dubbed the “Riviera bottle,” featuring nautical marinière stripes in the brand’s signature blue. For 2018, Grey Goose is continuing the series and has upped its design game by collaborating with illustrator Quentin Monge.
The Paris-born artist, whose whimsical drawings are followed by more than 125,000 followers on Instagram, spent much of his childhood near Saint-Tropez. To capture the French Riviera lifestyle, Monge decided to decorate the bottle with blue-and-white striped parasols, a symbol of summer holidays on the French Riviera. The motif also appears on the neoprene sleeve that the bottle comes with, ideal for keeping it cool on a hot, sunny day.
Monge says that he’s “inspired by people—women, mostly—but the illustrations are rooted in the South of France,” when I caught up with him at a pool party Grey Goose threw with luggage brand Away—a company Monge just happens to have previously partnered up with—in Cannes during the International Film Festival last month. Having drawn parasols before, loving the pattern that they create when several are propped up in the sand, the collaboration with the premium vodka brand “felt really natural.”
The illustrator has been drawing since he was young, with a pencil and sketchbook in hand anytime he went down to the beach. And while many of his graphics are displayed digitally these days, the artist finds comfort in paper, adding that “the process is always a little sketch in the moment and then later on I develop something with a different medium.”
And while blue may have been an obligatory color due to Grey Goose’s signature shade, the hue also really speaks to Monge and is often prominent in many of his other works. “For me, when I think about the French Riviera and where I come from, it’s always like this bright blue.” He also states that Matisse and Picasso are two of his biggest influences, both of whom had series focused on blue.
Now that he’s returned to the Côte d’Azur, leaving Paris for a village just outside of Saint-Tropez, a coastal town that really comes alive in the summer, Monge is looking forward to all of the natural light and being inspired by the locals. Because while the City of Light brims with creative energy, things are a bit different on the Riviera: “The energy comes from the lifestyle, the people. It can be the butcher, the fishermen you meet at the port—those are the people that give me inspiration, more than other artists or creative. I don’t necessarily need to be surrounded by creatives; I rather be surrounded by people who live their life because they’re in the right place and at the right moment of their life and they’re happy about that. And I find that in the South of France people are really happy.”
Monge’s preference for company is also reflected in his go-to beaches around Saint-Tropez, naming Plage des Salins (his favorite) and Plage de la Ponche in lieu of Pampelonne, the strip most known for its boisterous clubs.