Johnnie Walker unveils limited edition bottle

Diageo-owned Johnnie Walker is celebrating British South Asian creativity with a new limited edition Bold Steps bottle.

The blended Scotch whisky brand has brought its partnership with South Asian creative community platform Diet Paratha to life by launching a bottle designed by illustrator and graphic designer Kushiaania. Following Johnnie Walker’s invitation for artists and designers to put their own 'creative stamp' on a limited edition bottle, Kushiaania was named the winning entry. Her ‘vibrant design’ was inspired by the Brit-Asian ‘culture-clash’ world, and is described as ‘a powerful celebration of self-expression, feminine strength, and joy’. Kushiaania said: “Self-expression was an uphill battle, constantly editing myself in order to please others, working around what is deemed acceptable. Growing and allowing yourself to be your most authentic self is, in my opinion, one of the most empowering and beautiful acts of self-love we can do for ourselves. “I wanted to create an illustration that was an explosion of colour and vibrancy, celebrating self-expression. No hiding, no shame, and I am proud to have this opportunity with Johnnie Walker, an iconic whisky." Kushiaania’s 'passion' for embracing South Asian tradition with ‘a modern gaze’, and showing culture and beauty in a way ‘that is uniquely her own’, is said to mirror the Bold Steps mission for culture progression. In addition to bringing Kushiaania’s work to life, the brand is supporting her creative practice with a £5,000 (US$6,241) cash prize and one-to-one Diet Paratha Family Tree Mentoring by art director Manu Pillai. Kushiaania added: "It means a lot to take part in Diet Paratha’s Family Tree Mentoring with Manu Pillau, it’s an amazing community that has been incredibly supportive of creatives like me.” Anita Chhiba, founder of Diet Paratha, commented: “The British creative industry can be an isolating place for marginalised communities, we know that even though South Asians make up 7% of the UK we see only 4.8% on-screen and this figure drops to 2.6% off-screen. That is why campaigns like Bold Steps are so important to platform the underrepresented because this isn’t unique, we feel it across the whole creative industry. “I was impressed by the number of designs submitted and I admire Kushiaania’s fearless approach, which comes through in her spirited design.” Johnnie Walker’s Bold Steps campaign will continue to support Diet Paratha, aimed at British South Asians looking to break into or advance in creative industries, with Family Tree Mentorships for five more individuals throughout 2023. Pranay Chandra, head of Johnnie Walker and single malts, said: “Kushiaania’s celebratory bottle has really inspired us, from the bold colours to the symbols of joy and strength, the design adds a significant dimension to the Johnnie Walker Black Label bottle and it perfectly embodies the brand’s ‘Keep Walking’ ethos. “As champions of progressive voices and talent, we are committed to shining a light and standing up for creative representation and are proud of this milestone in the Bold Steps campaign.” Kushiaania’s bespoke Johnnie Walker Black Label for Bold Steps is available to buy at for RRP £35 (US$43.69). Last month Russian police raided a factory that was producing counterfeit bottles Johnnie Walker.

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