Spike Lee collaborated with The Brand Union to design the latest installment in Absolut vodka’s city series of limited edition bottles and flavors. The design features a brownstone stoop with the number 165 on the front door, referencing Lee’s childhood home in Cobble Hill.
Lee has dedicated $50,000 dollars of the limited edition vodka’s proceeds to Habitat for Humanity in New York City, which is dedicated to creating affordable home ownership opportunities for NYC residents, and thus is also presumably a supporter of stoop life.
The Absolut symbol of Lars Olsson Smith on the seal has been altered with Spike Lee-style thick-rimmed glasses and a baseball cap [this is my favorite part of the redesign]:
So, hmm… On the one hand, I think it’s great for Spike Lee to have the opportunity to visually represent his hometown in this non-filmic way, and I love that he chose something as seemingly prosaic as the ubiquitous stoop. On the other hand, I can’t get past the idea of imbibing on the stoop, which happens, but which I can’t imagine Absolut condoning or even acknowledging. So, does this label commodify Brooklyn? Sure it does. But, for whatever it’s worth, Brooklyn is a commodity. At least someone with a personal history and genuine empathy for the place and its people got to have a hand in this project. I could definitely stand to lose the redundant verbage, though. Bucktown, really?
Just for shits and giggles, I have to throw in this cheeseball statement from Brooklyn [err, Bucktown] Borough President Marty Markowitz, “I must say, it puts me in very good ‘spirits’ whenever I hear that one of Brooklyn’s own, like superstar Spike Lee, shows us all what it means to ‘do the right things’ […] It’s an Absolut win-win – a philanthropic cocktail with the perfect Brooklyn mixology.” What a ham…