Strategies & Insights

America's Next Top Bottle

Posted: April 6, 2009 by
Eric Van Osten

Consumers today consume bottled water like it's going out of fashion. If Evian has anything to say about it, bottled water fashion will always be fabulous. Last year, Evian began a tradition of having a line of its bottles designed by a famous fashion designer.

In 2008, the Limited Edition Evian Bottle by Christian Lacroix was created exclusively for upscale on-premise venues. But due to its popularity, the water bottles were quickly made available online and retail outlets. This time around, Evian partnered with internationally acclaimed French designer Jean Paul Gaultier to produce two unique and exclusive creations for 2009—the Evian Prêt-à-Porter bottle and the Evian Haute Couture bottle. These bottles made their global debut during Paris Fashion Week at an event hosted by Gaultier himself.

The surface of the Prêt-à-Porter (translation: "ready-to-wear") bottle is covered with a textured, etched glass pattern of interlocking snowflakes, meant to be reminiscent of the French Alps from which Evian Natural Spring Water is extracted. The logo and Gaultier's name are printed in large, majestic blue type that matches the cap. The bottles are encased in a shiny metallic sleeve, again with the blue logo and designer name, and the combination is at once simple, striking, and stylish.

Truly limited editions

The Prêt-à-Porter bottle is available for U.S. consumers online at, and upon later official release in restaurants, hotels, and nightclubs. The Evian Haute Couture Bottle, however, will not be as easy to get your hands on. Only five of these were produced, and they are currently touring the world at select locations in New York, Tokyo, London, Moscow, and Australia.

Each Haute Couture bottle has an individual design. "Bubble" is flanked and topped by glass spheres. "Droplet" is similar in style, but with tiny glass droplets on the exterior. "Reflection" has a glass base puddle with the letters of Evian seemingly floating on its surface, reflecting the logo. "Source" is something of a combination of the designs of Droplet and Reflection together, with droplets spilling from the top of the bottle into the pool at the bottom. Lastly, "Tray" employs a glass tray suspended about mid-bottle, which holds two drinking glasses.

After its world tour, the collection of these bottles will be auctioned off on April 7 at the opening of the sale "20th Century Interior Design," organized in partnership with ARTCURIAL Auctioneers. Interested bidders are encouraged to contact ARTCURIAL two weeks before the sale ( This tradition began in 2008, with one of Christian Lacroix's Haute Couture Bottles going down in the Guinness Book of World Records for the most expensive bottle of water ever sold.

The proceeds will be donated to the Evian Water Protection Institute, which Evian created in 2007 in partnership with Ramsar. For the past 10 years, Evian has supported Ramsar's dedication to the restoration and preservation of wetlands. Its goals are to: help maintain and restore wetlands, with the aim of promoting the well-being of local communities and fair access to resources; develop exchanges of knowledge about sustainable and concerted management of water resources; and encourage local communities to play a role in the management of wetlands.

Evian has a vested interest in protecting water resources, particularly through the protection of the catchment zone that feeds its own spring in the Alps. Through the beautiful bottle collection, Gaultier himself aims to remind people that pure water is rare, precious, and something to be celebrated. "Jean Paul Gaultier has consistently pushed the boundaries of fashion," says Jeff Caswell, v.p. of marketing for Evian North America. "He is revolutionary in his craft, yet always maintains an air of elegance and class in his designs."

Lauren Kinelski, PR manager for Evian North America, says: "Creating new and innovative packaging is nothing new for Evian. We have been involved in fashioning creative products and packaging for decades. Unique designs like the Nomad sports bottle, limited edition teardrop glass bottle, flip-cap bottle, 2007 French Alps bottle, hot pink label, the 2006 limited edition Romero Britto glass bottle, as well as the fine dining-centric Palace Bottle show that Evian is committed to packaging that is firmly rooted in ingenuity and imagination."

Evian's designer bottles are intended as a home entertaining accessory or fine dining accent, and can be reused as a designer vase. "Our consumers often purchase the Evian designer bottles to keep as collector's items," says Kinelski. "In a market so flooded with competition, it is key for Evian to differentiate itself as the world's No. 1 brand of premium natural spring water. Our exclusive designer bottles reflect the distinctive qualities that make Evian the most premium natural spring water for those who like to treat themselves to the very best."

The Danone Fund for Nature

In addition to the established Evian Water Protection Institute, Evian has also recently played a key role in the creation of the Danone Fund for Nature: a partnership between Groupe Danone (the parent company of Evian), Ramsar, and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Beginning this year, The Fund plans to support specific programs

to restore and protect wetlands—specifically mangrove swamps—by re-creating biodiversity and capturing the carbon emissions responsible for global warming.

Through innovations in processing, packaging, transportation, and recycling, Evian's goal is to reduce its carbon footprint by 50% between 2000 and 2011.