Artist Laolu Senbanjo Designs Limited Edition Bottle For Belvedere
By: Rudy Sanchez
Premium vodka maker Belvedere has released their 2018 limited edition bottle, designed by Nigerian-born and Brooklyn-based artist Laolu Senbanjo.
Laolu uses organic shapes and wavy lines to represent the water and rye that comprises Belvedere’s vodka. Other shapes and the use of negative space represent the balanced and clean taste of vodka. The bottle sleeve also features “skin-sense” texture and reacts to UV light, adding additional sensory and visual elements to the bottle.
“I wanted to highlight the inner beauty of the vodka’s elements and reveal something unexpected,” says Laolu.
Afrofuturism, a cultural aesthetic that reimagines the future with an Afro-centric base, has risen in popularity, with the success of the film Black Panther and its soundtrack, Janelle Monae’s Dirty Computer, and Jay-Z’s Family Feud. With this increased exposure to African themes and African designs, it’s little wonder Belvedere sought to partner with Laolu. Belvedere’s choice also aligns with the essential qualities of their vodka: pure, unadulterated vodka with a 600-year tradition.
"As an artist, I get to share my soul with people around me, my environment and the world and I'm able to channel my experiences like my journey as a human rights attorney and as a Nigerian," said Laolu Senbanjo in a press release. "The Belvedere bottle design came from that inspiration as well as doing a lot of research about what Belvedere is at its core, like the rye and the pristine water. The bottle is an amazing blend of my art and bringing to life what Belvedere stands for – and I get to be a part of giving back to society, which means a lot to me."
Continuing the focus on Africa, Belvedere is also pledging support to The Global Fund and Project(RED), two organizations combating HIV/AIDS in Africa. Over 25.5 million people on the African continent are living with HIV, with the epidemic most prevalent in Eastern and Southern Africa, where 19.4 million have HIV.
Africa is a vibrant land with rich artistic traditions, and this year we’ve seen those traditions incorporated in film and music, and now with Belvedere vodka, an example of African-inspired design in packaging.
Rudy Sanchez is a product marketing consultant based in Southern California. Once described by a friend as her “technology life coach,” he is a techie and avid lifelong gamer. When he’s not writing or helping clients improve their products, he’s either watching comedies on Netflix, playing the latest shooter or battle royale game or out exploring the world via Ingress and Pokémon Go.