Mar 09,2007 00:00
Yep, the day has arrived when natural spring water - bottled at the source in of all places
"Either you bling or you don't bling," says Bling H2O founder Kevin Boyd, a Hollywood writer-producer whose credits include "The Jamie Foxx Show."
HEAVY WATER - Kevin Boyd is the founder of Bling H20, a company that sells expensive bottles of water decorated with crystals. CNS Photo by Carol Kron. HIP HYDRATION - Bling H20 comes in limited-edition, wine-sized corked frosted bottles embedded with Swarovski crystals spelling out its name. CNS Photo by Carol Kron.
HEAVY WATER - Kevin Boyd is the founder of Bling H20, a company that sells expensive bottles of water decorated with crystals. CNS Photo by Carol Kron.
HIP HYDRATION - Bling H20 comes in limited-edition, wine-sized corked frosted bottles embedded with Swarovski crystals spelling out its name. CNS Photo by Carol Kron.
The half-size Baby Bling can cost $55 at hot spots, but it's $25 at the store. Even then, it's pricier and far less filling than the
"This is pop culture in a bottle," Boyd says.
Since launching last year, Bling has turned up at an after-party for the MTV Video Music Awards, in the dressing rooms of the 48th annual Grammy Awards, and at a style lounge for the Emmys, where it was used to give stars facials because of its good 7.3 pH balance. Bling also made the scene at Super Bowl festivities in
Ben Stiller recently had 10 cases flown to
It was while working on Foxx's now-defunct TV show years ago that Boyd says he noticed people carrying bottled water on the studio lot like a fashion accessory. For instance, there were the
"Anytime we'd have guest stars come to the show, they'd always request a certain water," Boyd says, adding some also requested certain bottles of booze. "Evian water was very popular back then. That was the buzz water."
After Boyd noticed patrons at ritzy nightspots ordering bottles of water with their Cristal, he tapped into the noncarbonated rich niche.
"We wanted to have the most exquisite, the most luxurious, lavish bottle of water in the world, with premium water with premium packaging that merits a premium price tag," Boyd says. "As far as I know, this is the most expensive bottled water in the world."
Diane Felicissimo says that's true, and she ought to know. A "water connoisseur," she owns and runs Via Genova, a five-table water bar/cafe far from the glitz of
"It's so popular," enthuses Felicissimo, who sells the large Bling for $55 and the small one for $30. "The little ones are flying off the shelves."
By far, Bling is the big-ticket of her wet fare. Other large, glass bottles cost from $5.50 for Speyside Glenlivet, drawn from a 500-millon-year-old rock formation in Scotland, to $28.50 for 10 Thousand BC, which is melted glacier ice from British Columbia, supposedly bottled to inspirational music.
Bling comes from a "crystal clear spring" in the
The pimped-up bottles, of course, are the bait. They come in several color schemes, including one of cobalt blue glass and one with canary yellow crystals.
Apparently, image-makers overseas also are nuts enough to pay $4 a gulp. "Our No. 1 market is
"There's people who simply want the best of everything," says Lou Abin, managing partner of the star-trodden Tao nightclub in
Boyd says Bling also is served at the posh Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons hotel and the new chic
Foxx, rapper Lil Jon and party-girl heiress Nicky Hilton all get regular home or office deliveries of Bling, Boyd says. Sometimes the shipments include basic Blings, which are sans-crystals 16.9-ounce plastic screw-top bottles that resemble your ordinary Arrowhead. The plastic logo version, convenient for status-seekers at the gym or pool, cost $2 each at the Bling store.
When caseloads of Bling were dispatched to the Hiltons'
Boyd's storefront, on busy
For Valentine's Day, a
Obviously, it's a strange water world.
"I understand to a lot of people it's outrageous, the price of the water," Boyd concedes. "And often time people say that water is such a premium in other countries and things of that nature. This is just an option. You can buy a Bentley or you can buy a Honda."
Or you can buy a Rolls-Royce for your cotton-mouth. But what's it taste like? At her watering hole, Felicissimo pours a selection from
"Bling is a beautiful light crisp water," says Felicissimo, who houses and presents her clear liquids like fine wines. "It's not the lightest and crispest I've ever tasted. But the bottles are beautiful - and it's definitely the flashiest."
At least those shelling out for the odorless fluid won't be dead in the water when Boyd asks his signature question: "Do you bling?"