ABSOLUT LINDEBERG: Johan Lindeberg might be a veteran at brand building — from his work with Renzo Rosso on Diesel and Justin Timberlake on William Rast to the launch of his own BLK DNM nearly two years ago — but his latest venture has taken him to an entirely new level. In what may be the first arrangement of its kind between a fashion designer and an alcoholic beverage, the artful, bearded Swede has been appointed creative director of the new “single-estate handcrafted luxury vodka,” Absolut Elyx, from Sweden-based Absolut. The first fruits of his labors will be on display this week in an ad for the newly minted spirit in Interview magazine featuring Chloë Sevigny and shot by Lindeberg himself.

“The first time I ever held a camera seriously was in August 2011,” he told WWD. “I wanted the launch of BLK DNM to be more personal and I needed to see it through the lens myself. And that’s how I felt about my involvement with Elyx.”

This story first appeared in the May 13, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Lindeberg’s first flight as an ad photographer will be Elyx’s “Integrity Campaign,” a black-and-white effort that Lindeberg said will feature other principled, independent women in the future. Sevigny will join the designer to celebrate the launch of the vodka Monday night at the High Line Building in New York’s Meatpacking District.

“When I started BLK DNM, I was in the middle of a separation and I put my energy into creating something different,” he said, “and the biggest inspiration was strong, independent women with integrity. That same inspiration is behind the campaign.”

He acknowledges a creative debt to Swedish director Ingmar Bergman as well as to many of the fashion photographers he worked with before he got behind the camera himself, Steven Klein among them.

No surprise about Sevigny’s outfits for the shoot — BLK DNM. Lindeberg said the tailored pieces used “symbolize the strength and integrity we’ve been talking about.”

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