David­off marks its 50th an­niver­sary with a spe­cial col­lec­tion of hu­mi­dors and ac­ces­sories de­signed by French artist Mar­i­ane Léger

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IT WAS 50 years ago that Zino Davido , a re­spected Swiss- Ukra­nian busi­ness­man whose store in Geneva drew con­nois­seurs from the world over, pro­duced his fi rst name­sake Cuban blend. The spirit of Davido has con­tin­ued to in­fuse its hand­crafted items, bring­ing new flavours and de­signs to mil­lions of global fans. This year’s mile­stone an­niver­sary is cel­e­brated with the un­veil­ing of a spe­cial col­lec­tion of ac­ces­sories.

Refl ect­ing Davido ’s spirit of seek­ing in­spi­ra­tion from the four cor­ners of the earth are the Caves du Monde hu­mi­dors, metic­u­lously de­signed and crafted by French artist Mar­i­ane Léger. The four

de­signs, named af­ter Europe, the Mid­dle East, Asia and the Amer­i­cas, pay homage to the founder’s tire­less pur­suit of in­no­va­tion, dis­cov­ery, va­ri­ety and taste.

Léger em­barked on a sim­i­lar jour­ney in pur­suit of in­spi­ra­tion, learn­ing about lo­cal tra­di­tion, craft tech­niques and cul­tures of the re­gions, and in­te­grat­ing th­ese el­e­ments into each Caves du Monde hu­mi­dor. The Cave d’asie, of­fered in David­off’s Sin­ga­pore bou­tiques, em­bod­ies the essence of va­ri­ety, with its de­sign and ma­te­ri­als re­flect­ing the rich­ness of Asian culture.

The de­sign is com­posed of three dis­tinc­tive sym­bols: A koi carp glid­ing its way through the fo­liage of plum flow­ers and bam­boo. The koi sig­ni­fies per­se­ver­ance and af­flu­ence, the plum flower rep­re­sents au­dac­ity and res­o­lu­tion while the bam­boo ex­presses longevity and sta­bil­ity.

Each hu­mi­dor, made of Gabon wood, is in­laid with 692 pieces of lo­tus fi­bre and Ghicha silk. Th­ese mo­tifs, laser- cut from rare lo­tus fi­bre and del­i­cate Ghicha silk, are in­laid by hand on the red-tinted sycamore case us­ing a mar­quetry tech­nique in­vented by Léger.

The lo­tus is a sa­cred sym­bol in Bud­dhism, and the fi­bres are painstak­ingly ex­tracted from the stem on the day of harvest and wo­ven into a cream­coloured fab­ric. Nat­u­rally tabby brown Ghicha silk, used in In­dian sa­rees, is hand­wo­ven from wild silk­worms to cre­ate a gold-tinged ef­fect that shim­mers from afar. Both fab­rics were sourced from lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties, as an en­deav­our to en­cour­age the preser­va­tion of tra­di­tional tech­niques and her­itage.

The Cave d’asie hu­mi­dor is out­fit­ted with three David­off Slim reg­u­la­tors. Th­ese lim­ited- and num­bered- edi­tion hu­mi­dors are signed by Léger her­self. Inside the box are a cer­tifi­cate of au­then­tic­ity, a re­mov­able bas­ket and pal­la­dium fit­tings.

Léger’s de­signs also ap­pear on porce­lain jars and Pres­tige lighters, which are also lim­ited- and num­bered- edi­tions. The sleek white jars are etched with one of the four de­signs by Léger, while the lighters bear re­fined de­tails of Léger’s de­signs. For the first time, David­off is of­fer­ing a brushed fin­ish on the lighters, with edges in a con­trast­ing mir­ror ef­fect that is both mas­cu­line and con­tem­po­rary.

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