Ask your fancy liquor bottle which designer it's wearing tonight

Posted on Thu Jan 29 2009


People used to call good liquor "top-shelf." Then it was "premium," and then "ultra-premium." And how were you supposed to know it was worth 39 bucks? Easy. Just make sure the bottle looked like a half-melted icicle or a turret from Neuschwanstein. Yes, kick-ass bottles have been de rigeur for wine and spirit brands for a while now—but there's more to the story.
  These days, a fancy bottle's just not fancy enough if it isn't made by an über-hip designer. Take Corzo, which just began a major marketing push this month. The tequila's rectangular, cologne-like bottle is the work of Fabien Baron (shown here), who's designed everything from Calvin Klein magazine ad spreads to hotels for Ian Schrager. A limited-edition Dom Perignon bottle designed by fashion legend Karl Lagerfeld was reportedly a brisk seller this past holiday season. And debuting this winter is Danzka vodka's "snowflake" bottle, which bears an unsettling resemblance to a fire extinguisher—created by the svelte 28-year-old Danish designer Sidsel Ludvigsen.
  These chic intoxicant brands aren't the first to ask a famous designer to tell the glassblowers what to do. In 2004, Wyborowa vodka recruited architect Frank Gehry to design its twisting, prismatic bottle. And a humble entrepreneur named Donald Trump signed up industrial designer Milton Glaser—the man behind the "I ♥ NY" logo—to help design the bottle for his premium vodka. (Shockingly enough, it was called "Trump.")
  We're tempted to say that water brands are next, but it's already happened. Pininfarina crafted the tall green bottle of Italy's Mattoni brand. If you don't know Pininfarina, it's the family firm that designs Ferraris.

—Posted by Robert Klara



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