Luther Vandross’ soulful, luxurious tenor wrapped its way around a string of R&B and pop hits in the ‘80s, ‘90s and 2000s. So it’s only fitting that the Luther Vandross Estate and Primary Wave Music would collaborate with esteemed Irish luxury brand Waterford to launch an exclusive crystal collection.
Paying homage to the eight-time Grammy winner’s 1981 platinum single “Never Too Much,” the limited-edition Luther 81 X collection will become available on Aug. 10.
Each piece in the Luther Vandross X Waterford collection of cocktail and barware features a karo cut design that underscores a key line in the song’s refrain: “A thousand kisses from you is never too much.” Each crystal piece is also emblazoned with a single hand-cut karo kiss on its base.
In an additional salute to the music and legacy of Vandross, who died in 2005, the House of Waterford has designed a unique crystal art piece commemorating the artist’s double-platinum debut album, also titled Never Too Much. The 12-inch wall-mounted crystal disc, set against a steel and brass backdrop, sports 81 polished precision-cut track grooves and a hand-etched center label featuring Vandross’ signature. It took more than 19 hours and four Master Craftsmen to forge the crystal album, using five specialized techniques: mouth blowing, cutting, sculpting, satin finishing and assembling. It will be available for purchase on the Waterford website for $15,000.
“Luther Vandross’ genuine affinity for crystal always mirrored the crystal-clear quality of his voice and spirit,” said Lisa Fruggiero, vp of brand partnerships at Primary Wave Music, in a release announcing the news. “Our collaboration with Waterford beautifully symbolizes this, adding a level of sincerity and elegance that embodies Luther’s legacy in a unique, tangible way.”
David Gottlieb, manager of the Luther Vandross Estate, stated, “This unique collection honors Luther Vandross’ timeless legacy, beautifully capturing the spirit of his music in each crystal piece. It’s more than just barware — it’s a testament to Luther’s profound influence on music and his ever-present essence in our lives.”
With support from Waterford, Primary Wave Music and The Luther Vandross Estate, the Luther Vandross Foundation honored the singer’s dedication to helping students and historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs). Held at Philadelphia’s historic Belmont Mansion earlier this year, the event showcased a custom-cut crystal decanter that prefaced the Luther 81 X line’s upcoming August launch.
“Music is an emotional thread that will be integral to our new brand narrative at Waterford,” said Waterford creative director Alice Bastin. “Luther’s music has inspired and bonded generations and his legacy lives on through the important work the Luther Vandross Foundation does. It’s incredibly important to me that Waterford supports the work of the Luther Vandross Foundation and promotes cultural conversations around diversity and inclusivity. It’s an honor for Waterford to be able to contribute to the important work of the Luther Vandross Foundation and to give talented students attending HBCUs the financial aid to further their passions in education.”
The Luther Vandross X Waterford collection will be available on waterford.com. It will also be available exclusively at Bloomingdale’s in the U.S., David Jones in Australia, House of Waterford in Ireland, and Harrods in the U.K. For more information, visit https://www.waterford.com/en-us/collections/collaborations/luther-vandross.