Chinese New Year is a major occasion at Johnnie Walker. Every year, the legendary whisky maker releases limited-edition designs to celebrate the festive season, spreading cheer and well-wishes through depictions of abundance on its Blue Label bottle.
Following its roaring collaboration with Chinese artist Shan Jiang to commemorate the Year of the Tiger, Johnnie Walker has partnered with Shanghai-based designer Angel Chen for the Year of the Rabbit. On the iconic Blue Label bottle, the 2023 Chinese zodiac animal is captured jumping through a lush and vibrant mountainous landscape. Signifying mercy, elegance, longevity and beauty, the prancing rabbit also echoes Johnnie Walker’s Striding Man logo and the brand’s motto “Keep Walking”.
Angel Chen with the Johnnie Walker Blue Label Year of the Rabbit Limited Edition BottleIn designing the special-edition Blue Label for the New Year, Chen revealed that she was inspired by the craftsmanship of Johnnie Walker Master Blender Emma Walker and her team in creating a highly complex yet perfectly balanced whisky using some of the rarest maturing Scotch from Johnnie Walker’s precious reserves, include irreplaceable casks from ghost distilleries. “It was important to me that my illustrations brought to life the depth that I always seek to create in my work,” says Chen “I wanted those layers of incredible flavour that make Johnnie Walker Blue Label what it is to burst out of my designs, with layer upon layer of vivid colour inspired by this exceptional Scotch with real depth of character.”.
She adds, “There’s a defiant energy to my illustrations which bring to life the vibrant spirit of the rabbit as it leaps across the design, symbolising how we need to keep moving forward, spreading goodness throughout the year to come.”
One of the brightest Chinese designers in the fashion industry, Chen launched her eponymous label in 2014 a year after graduating from Central Saints Martins. Since then, she’s been named i-D magazine’s designer to watch, Forbes China’s 30 Under 30 and Business of Fashion 500. She is also a Woolmark prize finalist, the first-ever Chinese designer to collaborate with H&M and a former contestant in the Netflix documentary Next in Fashion. Well-stocked at over 70 locations worldwide including Selfridges, Lane Crawford, Luisa Via Roma and Dong Liang, Chen is part of a next-generation of young Chinese designers making an impact locally and globally.
Speaking on the Chen’s creations for Johnnie Walker, global brand director Julie Bramham, says: “We hope that the positivity symbolised by the rabbit will inspire people who receive this gift to greet the new year with the same optimism embodied in Angel’s designs. It is remarkable to see such a talented designer bring her skills from the world of fashion to create something so exciting for this exceptional Scotch.”
Johnnie Walker Blue Label Year of the Rabbit Limited Edition Bottle is available at 1855 and other major specialist retail and online partners.
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