Johnnie Walker celebrates British South Asian creativity with its new limited edition ‘Bold Steps’ Bottle

The iconic whisky brings its partnership with Diet Paratha to life by launching a bottle designed by illustrator and graphic designer Kushiaania.

Johnnie Walker is proud to unveil a limited edition bottle in celebration of its ‘Bold Steps’ campaign in partnership with Diet Paratha, the South Asian creative community platform. Building on Johnnie Walker’s progressive ‘Keep Walking’ spirit, ‘Bold Steps’ sets out to open doors for the next generation of talent within the creative industries. Created by illustrator and graphic designer Kushiaania, the design is the winning entry, following Johnnie Walker’s invitation for artists and designers to put their own creative stamp on a limited edition bottle, and will be available to buy from Thursday 18th May at

Inspired by the Brit-Asian ‘culture-clash’ world, Kushiaania’s vibrant design was selected by a panel including an independent judge and is a powerful celebration of self-expression, feminine strength, and joy. Kushiaania’s passion for embracing South Asian tradition with a modern gaze, showing culture and beauty in a way that is uniquely her own, mirrors the ‘Bold Steps’ mission for culture progression. Having grown up in Yorkshire, Kushiaania went on to earn a fashion degree, spending eight years in fashion, before pursuing her passion for illustration and graphic design. In addition to bringing Kushiaania’s work to life, the brand is supporting her creative practice with a £5,000 cash prize and one-to-one Diet Paratha Family Tree Mentoring by Art Director Manu Pillai. 

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. 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%¹ of the UK we see only 4.8%² on-screen and this figure drops to 2.6%3 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.”

Bold Steps’, an ongoing Johnnie Walker 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.

Speaking on the winning bottle design, Head of Johnnie Walker and Single Malts, Pranay Chandra, commented: “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’ will be available to buy at from 18th May 2023 at £35.00 RRP.

¹ Source: Office for National Statistics (ONS), released 29 November 2022, ONS website, statistical bulletin, Ethnic group, England and Wales: Census 2021

² Source: Creative Diversity Network, Diamond, The Fifth Cut: Diamond at 5, 2022

3 Source: Creative Diversity Network, Diamond, The Fifth Cut: Diamond at 5, 2022

Source: Diet Paratha

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