Marijuana continues to clash with fashion – from limited edition streetwear to high-minded jewelery – but other than that Brett Heyman beloved Edie Parker Flowers, few industry leaders have turned to manufacturing tools for consumption.
Enter Armen Gregorian, co-owner and CEO of the former Twelfth Street fashion label by Cynthia Vincent and founder and former CEO of a women’s ready-to-wear brand ALC., whose new cannabis product launched earlier this month. Mae, short for “Mind at Ease,” features a range of smoking accessories dreamed of by design world star Joe Doucet, plus a core collection of cannabis vaporizers and oil cartridges; Mae’s pre-roll will launch in California in December.
To Gregorian, who continues his two decades of experience in fashion through his newest label Intentional Blank, Mae intended to fill a void he personally observed in the cannabis market two years ago when he bought a popular vape pen from a pharmacy down the street from his Los Angeles home.
“Knowing what I know about fashion and design, I don’t think this pen is the end-it-all to luxury and secret marijuana. So I thought, ‘There must be a better way to do this.’ And thus, Mae was born, ”Gregorian shared via email. “I want to do for marijuana like Dunhill did for cigarettes.”
Mae also sells namesake accessories including solid batteries, engraved batteries, pen batteries and JUUL boxes – all of which exude a higher approach to marijuana. Mae’s THC and CBD oil cartridges are odorless – no small feat – through a terpene blend designed to make inconspicuous use possible.
“Cannabis helps calm your mind, then Mae. We think that we can all share this sentiment, especially right now, ”added Gregorian, who replaced his evening wine habit with marijuana with encouragement from his fitness-enthusiast daughter. “I really liked marijuana in the 70s, so when I returned to the factory after refraining from smoking for nearly 30 years, I was stunned. It’s not the same plant I remember at all. “
The company also celebrated the debut of the Mae x Joe Doucet capsule collection, representing pioneers in cannabis design. Crafted from precious metals such as brass, silver, and rose gold, this includes six additional Mae pieces (ranging in price from $ 45 to $ 395): pipe, snuff box / stash, ashtray, grinder, clip, and water pipe.
“Joe is one of the most prolific designers of a generation. I knew that if I wanted to bring a world-class marijuana accessory to the market, I had to find the right person to design it, ”said Gregorian.
In addition to working with global brands such as Mont Blanc, Nike and BMW, Doucet is a recipient of the National Design Award from Cooper Hewitt and the Smithsonian Design Museum, among others other awards. Doucet’s collaboration with Mae was his first break into the marijuana space. He has been approached on more than one occasion to design fixtures before, but he doesn’t believe in the product or the person behind it.
“When I met Armen, I was immediately captivated by his vision and passion to create something extraordinary,” Doucet told me. “He could have asked me to make a toilet brush and I would seriously consider it. He wanted to create something that would make serious changes to the way people viewed the previously banned category and normalization of plants. That’s the kind of challenge I live with. ”
Where does Doucet get his creative inspiration when he starts designing in a new category for him?
“I never look for inspiration. Instead, I was looking for insights, “Doucet said. “Marijuana is something that has previously been thrown into dark rooms and dresser drawers. The insight is simple that people should take pride in their marijuana accessories and want to display them like a good bottle of scotch. It is exciting to play a small role in normalization. I don’t take part often, but when I do, I want a higher experience. Why aren’t there any well-designed experiences? “
While Mae will always maintain its main product collection, Gregorian has plans to collaborate with other designers and brands in the future.
“As marijuana becomes more widely accepted and legalized, the whole world will follow suit. Fashion labels will be more likely to work with marijuana brands collaboratively and like large conglomerates LVMH and Dry will be looking to buy a successful cannabis label living in a luxury space. “
Shop Mae accessories online at mae-la.com and Mae’s cannabis products, at select California pharmacies including the California Caregiver’s Alliance, Clique, Dank Depot, Divine Wellness Center, Exhalence and The Higher Path.
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