Interview with Lawrence Fairchild, Fairchild Napa Valley & Stones Wine, United States

Explore Hotel | MUSE Design Awards
New Urban Experiences Await You Here with Explore Hotel’s Unique Interior Design
July 19, 2021
Jean Chen | MUSE Design Awards
Interview with Jean Chen, Zeal Design Studio, China
July 22, 2021

Lawrence Fairchild

Lawrence believes that design means originality, where the visuals strike the hearts of many once they see or feel the product itself.

Interview with the 2021 MUSE Design Awards Winner - Lawrence Fairchild

1Please give us a brief bio of yourself and your design background.

Originating from Nebraska and beginning my career in economics and politics under the Reagan administration, my earliest interest in design was fashion as an early follower of Giorgio Armani. My interest continued with a fascination for contemporary and modern art studying the works of Warhol, Pollack, & Basquiat. Adding art and unexpected design to wine bottles and label began with Stones Wine in 2011, and then with the creation of the Perrarus hand-blown glass edition in 2019.

2What made you become/why did you choose to become a designer/artist?

The art of Stones and Perrarus first began with the wine in the bottle, creating some of the highest rated wines in the world. The art concepts that I developed for the Stones labels and Perrarus - The Art Series came from my desire to add art and design to the bottle, in effect create wine as a collectable piece of art made in very limited editions - each an original.

3Tell us more about your business/company, job profile, and what you do.

I am the owner of Fairchild Napa Valley, and Stones and Perrarus wines. Fairchild-Stones is a luxury, limited production portfolio of wines sourced from the most exclusive vineyards in the Napa Valley. I am the CEO and visionary for all of the Stones and Perrarus wines and the global ambassador for the brand.

4What does “design” mean to you?

Design to me means originality. Creating a look and feel that strikes the heart the minute that you see or feel the product. Creating in a category a product design that has never been seen before and is a “must have”.

5What’s your favorite kind of design and why?

Architecture is my first love, followed by fashion. The inspiration and perseverance that is required by architects to create some of the most breathtaking structures throughout the world astounds me. And the constant annual creativity of the fashion houses - Gucci, Alexander McQueen, Christian Louboutin……great design in a very complex industry. Long, beautiful coats are my weakness.

6To you, what makes a “good” design?

Good design to me is a well thought out idea that appeals to the senses. In the case of Perrarus, if the first reaction is not “Wow”, then I have failed.

7Describe your design style and its main characteristics.

I like edgy. If I had to pick one design style it would look like Steven Tyler. Original and unexpected. The main characteristic is that it is not a remake and used design techniques not yet common in my industry.

8Tell us about your design process.

I start with sketching conceptual ideas, whether a bottle design, label concept, then move directly to “the story”. What will make the design concept interesting to a global wine collector. Then I work backwards to the bottle and label, and the box in which it arrives. Hopefully all comes together.

9Do you think your country and its cultural heritage has an impact on your design process?

Interesting question. Having grown up very rural with little to no exposure to design, I cannot openly credit my environment to my interest in luxury design. I think that I can credit my design interest to constantly being exposed to incredibly intelligent individuals that have incredible taste in art, houses, fashion, et al.

10Congratulations! As the winner of the 2021 MUSE Design Awards, what does it mean to you and your company and team to receive this award distinction?

I am incredibly honoured to receive this award on behalf of my team. My lead designer, MRJONES makes my unusual requests come to life. My internal team has an incredible passion both for wine and design. I am fortunate to be associated with all of them.

11Can you explain a bit about the winning work you entered into the 2021 MUSE Design Awards, and why you chose to enter this project?

Perrarus (Latin: rare, exceptional) is an annual creation with the goal of creating the rarest bottle of wine in the world. Each year a changing design. Each year limited to less than 400 bottles globally. Perrarus 2 - The Art Series, was created using original commissioned art from Cedric Bouteiller from Provence, combined with hand-blown glass, topped off with an artist crate as the delivery. We felt that Perrarus 2 had all of the features of great and special design.

12What was the biggest challenge with this project?

The biggest challenge - I would say the combination of completing original art for each bottle and the hand-blown glass production for 400 vessels, and having them come together at the needed time. Both pieces are original created by artists.

13How has winning an Award developed your practice/career?

My company culture is that our reward is the feeling that each of our clients has upon receiving and tasting the wine. The Award is an added bonus for all of the hard work my team has executed to make it happen.

14What are your top three (3) favorite things about our industry?

Hands down the satisfaction of the end client is my favorite thing. The second; creating great wine from great vineyards which is essentially redesigning each year. Third, design is exciting. It creates visual satisfaction unlike nothing else.

15What makes your country specifically, unique in the design industry?

I think that the United States excels most at presenting the designs available, whether furniture, fashion, luxury goods, etc. Seeing and executing great design is one of our strengths.

16Where do you see the evolution of design industry going over the next 5-10 years?

The impatience of the consumer world to remain with the status quo will demand that design moves faster and becomes more creative. This will possibly open up the playing field to new and original designers to gain entry with new and bold ideas.

17If you were a student entering this industry or an aspiring MUSE Design Awards submitter, what advice would you give them?

Get the best internship available to you in the design area in which you are most passionate. Passion drives design. Period.

18What resources would you recommend to someone who wants to improve their skills in the design industry?

Read everything available to you. Work around the best and brightest people.

19Tell us something you have never told anyone else.

Hmmm. My college buddies called me Don Ho because I wore the same purple Hawaiian shirt to class. But don’t tell anyone!!

20Who has inspired you in your life and why?

Hands down my father. We were very close. He instilled an incredible work ethic.

21What is your key to success? Any parting words of wisdom?

Keep an open mind and work relentlessly towards perfection. Listen to every idea, whether or not you think is has merit.

22Do you have anything else you would like to add to the interview?

I am fortunate to do what I do. Waking up each day to vineyards, great wine clients, and a goal to create what has not yet been created. As Tom Hanks stated in his acceptance speech at the Golden Globes as his advice to his peers; “Show up on time. Know your lines. And come with a head full of ideas”.

Winning Entries

Perrarus 2, The Hermes of the Wine Industry | 2020

Perrarus 2, The Hermes of the Wine Industry | MUSE Design Awards

Created to be the Hermès of the global wine industry, Proprietor Lawrence Fairchild’s Perrarus collections are the embodiment of...
(read more at MUSE Design Awards)


Fairchild Napa Valley & Stones Wine

Fairchild Napa Valley & Stones Wine is an award-winning winery based in the United States.