Cannabis continues to collide with fashion, from limited-edition streetwear to high-spirited jewelry, but apart from beloved Brett Heymans Edie Parker Flower, rare are the industry leaders who have turned to the creation of consumer tools.
Enter Armen Gregorian, co-owner and CEO of former fashion brand Twelfth Street by Cynthia Vincent and founder and former CEO of the women’s ready-to-wear brand ALC., whose new line of cannabis products launched earlier this month. Mae, which stands for Mind at Ease, offers a line of smoking accessories created by world design star Joe Doucet, as well as a basic collection of vaporizers and cannabis oil cartridges; Mae’s pre-rolls will roll out to California in December.
For Gregorian, who extends his two decades of experience in fashion through his latest brand Intentionally empty, Mae is supposed to fill the void he personally observed in the cannabis market two years ago when he bought a popular vape pen at a dispensary down the street from his home in Los Angeles.
Knowing what I know about fashion and design, I didn’t think this pen was the end of everything for luxury and understated cannabis. So I thought to myself that there had to be a better way to do this. And so, Mae was born, Gregorian shared via email. I want to do for cannabis what Dunhill did for cigarettes.
Mae also sells accessories of the same name, including a solid battery, engraved battery, pen battery, and JUUL case, all of which exude an elevated approach to cannabis. Maes THC and CBD oil cartridges are odorless thanks to a proprietary blend of terpenes designed to make use as discreet as possible.
Cannabis helps put your mind at ease, hence Mae. We thought we could all share that sentiment, especially these days, added Gregorian, who replaced his nighttime wine habit with cannabis with encouragement from his wellness-loving daughter. I was really into cannabis in the ’70s, so when I returned to the factory after not smoking for almost 30 years, I was stunned. It was not the same plant I remembered at all.
The company is also celebrating the launch of its Mae x Joe Doucet capsule collection, which represents the avant-garde of cannabis design. Crafted from precious metals like brass, silver, and rose gold, it includes six additional Mae coins (ranging from $ 45 to $ 395): a pipe, cigar humidor / stash, ashtray, grinder, pliers and a water pipe.
Joe is one of the most prolific designers of a generation. I knew if I was going to bring world-class cannabis accessories to the market, I had to bring in the right person to design them, Gregorian said.
In addition to working with global brands like Mont Blanc, Nike and BMW, Doucet is a recipient of a National Design Award from Cooper Hewitt and the Smithsonian Design Museum, among other distinctions. Doucets’ collaboration with Mae is his first foray into the cannabis space. He had been approached many times to design props before, but he didn’t believe in the product or the people behind him.
When I met Armen, I was immediately captivated by his vision and his passion to create something extraordinary, Doucet told me. He could have asked me to create a toilet brush and I would have seriously considered it. He wanted to create something that would seriously harm the way people see the category and standardization of what was previously a prohibited plant. This is the kind of challenge I live for.
As for where Doucet drew his creative inspiration when he embarked on design in this new category?
I never look for inspiration. I’m looking for a preview instead, said Doucet. Cannabis is something that was previously relegated to dark rooms and dresser drawers. The idea is just that people should feel just as proud of their cannabis accessories and want to display them like they would a nice bottle of scotch. What a pleasure to play a small role in its standardization. I don’t participate often, but when I do, I desire a high experience. Why shouldn’t an experiment be highly designed?
While Mae will always maintain her staple collection, Gregorian intends to collaborate with other designers and brands in the future.
As cannabis becomes more widely accepted and legalized, the rest of the world will follow. Fashion brands will be more likely to work with cannabis brands collaboratively and large conglomerates like LVMH and Dry will be looking to purchase successful cannabis labels living in the luxury space.
Buy Mae accessories online at mae-la.com and Mae cannabis products, at select California dispensaries, including California Caregivers Alliance, Clique, Dank Depot, Divine Wellness Center, Exhalence, and The Higher Path.
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