Johnnie Walker, a brand of Norwalk, Conn.-based Diageo North America, unveiled Jane Walker, the first-ever female iteration of the brand's iconic Striding Man logo. The Jane Walker icon will debut on a special-edition offering of the brand’s Black Label blend.
Johnnie Walker Black Label The Jane Walker Edition will be available nationwide beginning in March to coincide with Women's History Month and International Women's Day celebrations, the company says.
For more than a century, the Striding Man has been a Johnnie Walker icon and an important part of the brand's history. While his look has had subtle changes throughout the years, he has always conveyed the brand's unique point of view and symbolized moving forward, the company says. As a brand that has stood for progress for nearly 200 years, Johnnie Walker is proud to take this next step forward by introducing Jane Walker as another symbol of the brand's commitment to progress, it adds.
Women have played a significant role in the brand's history dating back to 1893, when John Walker & Sons purchased the Cardhu distillery from Elizabeth Cumming, the company says. Cardhu is one of the single malts that comprises Johnnie Walker Black Label and is considered the heartbeat of the blend. Elizabeth Walker, the wife of founder John Walker, also was fundamental to the creation of their own blended whisky, working alongside John and their son Alexander in the original Walker grocery shop, it says. Today, nearly 50 percent of the brand's 12 expert blenders are women, with female leadership across marketing and C-Level executives, it adds.
"Important conversations about gender continue to be at the forefront of culture, and we strongly believe there is no better time than now to introduce our Jane Walker icon and contribute to pioneering organizations that share our mission," said Stephanie Jacoby, vice president of Johnnie Walker, in a statement. "We are proud to toast the many achievements of women and everyone on the journey toward progress in gender equality."
To support this effort as part of Keep Walking America, Johnnie Walker will donate $1 for every bottle of the Jane Walker Edition made to organizations championing women's causes, with a total donation of as much as $250,000, including a donation of $150,000 to the Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony Statue Fund and its Monumental Women campaign, the company says. Monumental Women, a nonprofit dedicated to creating a monument honoring America's women suffragists in New York City's Central Park, where there are 23 statues of historical figures but not one honoring a real woman. Johnnie Walker is proud to support a historic initiative that will make public representations of important women and people of all backgrounds a reality in the future, it says.
"We are here to move history forward. Our project honors Stanton and Anthony as well as all the women who fought for the largest nonviolent revolution in the history of this nation, when over half the population won the right to vote. It's an instant history lesson. But most of all, it's about completing the journeys toward justice of the valiant women who came before us and achieving the full equality for women that they were denied. Monumental change is coming. We thank Johnnie Walker for their support and recognizing the importance of Women's History," said Pam Elam, president of the Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony Statue Fund and its Monumental Women Campaign, in a statement.
The introduction of the first-ever female brand icon and the Jane Walker Edition bottle represent Johnnie Walker's commitment to inspire and champion the diverse communities moving the country forward, the company says. In addition to celebrating historic female figures through the support of Monumental Women, Johnnie Walker will also celebrate the next generation of female leaders by donating a portion of Jane Walker Edition proceeds to She Should Run, which is dedicated to inspiring women to run for office.
Starting in March, Johnnie Walker Black Label The Jane Walker Edition will be available nationwide wherever fine spirits are sold, with a suggested retail price of $34 for a 750-ml bottle. Johnnie Walker Black Label The Jane Walker Edition is 40 percent alcohol by volume.