If you eat it, drink it, visit it, view it, or read it, there’s a good chance it’s connected somehow to the mega-trend setter, Ali Ghanbarian.
The art aficionado, restaurateur, promoter, and founder of the influential SOMA Magazine, has launched numerous careers and supported creative people for decades. One of his latest ventures is to take charge of the highly acclaimed ultra-premium Blue Angel Vodka, created by the legendary Maurice Kanbar, of the SKYY vodka fame.
Ghanbarian’s creative journey started in San Francisco, during the 1980s which transformed him from a bored engineer to the visionary who transformed the rundown neighborhood called South of Market, to what it is now, home to multimillion-dollar luxury apartments, a base to the biggest technology giants as well as the area for some of the best restaurants in the world.
He opened some of the most innovative restaurants and clubs in that area by recruiting artists, musicians, and chefs. His pioneering restaurants and clubs such as the BILLBOARD Café, CLUB 9, FOTO 579, and the iconic BYTE bar and grill, transformed the entire area and attracted the yuppies, and the disco goers which helped gentrify the area.
Ghanbarian being a lifelong art lover and passionate about all the great cultural happening in SOHO and the VILLAGE in New York, decided to launch a magazine to support the creative community by creating SOHO West. That is how the iconic SOMA magazine was born 30 years ago.
SOMA is the longest-running independent arts, culture, design, and fashion magazine in the country and is known for helping discover and launching the careers of thousands of iconic designers, architects, musicians, filmmakers, writers, models, photographers, chefs, and mixologists.
The spectacular success of his bars, restaurants, and highly praised magazine, offered Ghanbarian a unique ability and credibility to take on some of the best consumer brands and connect them to the desirable demographics, the influencers, and the trendsetters, a good many of whom are SOMA’s brand captive audience worldwide.
As a result, the majority of premium wine and spirits brands, as well as fashion and beauty producers, reach out to SOMA magazine and AKA marketing to connect them to the influencers. SOMA Magazine and the sister company AKA Marketing have become the go-to platforms for hundreds of brands. They are credited with launching, branding, placing, and positioning some of the most successful brands ever.
In essence, AKA Marketing and, SOMA Magazine, provide a social and innovative platform worldwide for creative people to be discovered, showcase their talent, and share their visions. “It was a simple leap to incorporate some of these incredibly creative and talented folks in the ‘fabric’ of SOMA and what AKA Marketing is all about.” The core demographic of both companies are the ultimate influencers. They are at the forefront of cultural evolution, brand awareness, and creation.
Even though the magazine serves all types of artists from all over the world, Ghanbarian has always remained closely tied to the service industry. Hence, spirits brands continue to approach Ghanbarian for assistance because of his influence and talent, to help connect their brands to his vast network of the influencers.
Part of the excitement of the journey for Ghanbarian is encountering extraordinary visionaries, a few of whom he idealizes. Currently, he is working with the Blue Angel ultra-premium vodka, created by the legendary Maurice Kanbar of the SKYY fame. Blue Angel is a result of Maurice’s long-running passion and desire to create an Ultra-premium vodka for the perfect martini.
“Being a vodka drinker myself, I agree with the result,” stated Ali. “A few years back, when I helped launch Soli Elit for Allied Domecq, I was responsible for placing them in hundreds of prestige accounts, as soon as I would step in, the bartenders would have my Elit-up ready, so they nicknamed me the Elitist. I guess my nickname now a days is Mr. BAM.” … for the Blue Angel Martini.
As for a name for the vodka itself, Maurice stated that he wanted something “up.” Then he saw the Blue Angels flying around and thought, why not Blue Angel? It turned out he could register “Blue Angel,” and that was that. Again, the blue bottle is self-explanatory.
“The product itself offers robust aromatics and a lush mouthfeel,“ explained Ghanbarian. “Blue Angel is vibrant, crafted with a proprietary six-time distillation and four-step filtration, using only American grains, creating an exceptional spirit from the San Francisco Bay Area.”
For lovers of classic vodka cocktails, Ghanbarian has good news for you: “I genuinely believe Blue Angel exceeds the expectations at all levels for the perfect Martini.”
You can find Blue Angel in all your favorite restaurants, bars, lounges, boutique liquor stores, social events, arts, and cultural venues, and coming soon; you can also order the Blue Angel Martini from your favorite home spirits delivering service.
Between his magazine, marketing company, and boundless energy, you will find his fingerprints in most successful premium brands.
“I probably have helped create numerous iconic brands,” laughs the gregarious Ghanbarian!