Johan Lindeberg On Anti-Bling Vodka & His Feminist Campaign Star, Chloë

Every fashion party worth its salt has a liquor company on board to keep the drinks flowing and guests happy. But what about when the party is thrown by a liquor brand helmed by a fashion designer? Well, we’re not sure there’s a precedent, but that was precisely what went down last night in a dimly lit space below the High Line, where Absolut was fêting its newly minted partnership with Johan Lindeberg, the bearded, Swedish creative director of of BLK DNM and, now, of “the first-ever, single-estate, handcrafted luxury vodka,” Absolut Elyx.

One major difference from your standard industry event? The usual staff of off-duty male models had the night off, and pro bartenders from NYC hot spots like PDT and The Nomad Hotel poured artfully crafted cocktails for guests to sip as they milled about the room and admired the blown-up, black-and-white images of Chloë Sevigny that Lindeberg shot for the campaign. As for the star herself, she was draped in tie-dye Rodarte and seated with a coterie of creative types, looking every bit the “independent New York woman” that the designer told us he wanted to represent in the ads.

Unlike the iconic Absolut imagery, which riffs on the shape of the bottle, Lindeberg explained that he wanted his campaign to be all about modernity, looking to the future, and women with “integrity”. Why women? Well, “I’m a feminist,” he said, matter-of-factly. He also told us some of the other ideals he hopes to convey with the new partnership:

“Well, as creative director you shape the culture around the brand, so for me this is the luxury brand of Absolut. It’s the pinnacle of the Absolut pyramid and I want it actually to be the pinnacle of the vodka industry. I think the vodka is amazing; it’s hand-crafted, and it’s a total contrast to what vodka is usually associated with — all that bling bling culture. It’s more about conversations and more intellectual exchange and more depth somehow. Maybe I can even inspire Miami and Los Angeles to change and be a little more intellectual.”

Hear that, club-goers? The Swedes are coming to make your vodka just a little bit cooler.

See photos from the campaign and event below, and for another epicurean collaboration, read what Zac Posen had to say about his work with Magum Ice Cream:

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