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Star Vodka Plays The Field – Polo That Is

Submitted by on July 10, 2010 – 12:14 pmNo Comment
Team Star Vodka

Team Star Vodka

Photos by Lianne Alcon Charles Ferri with Maurico Devrient, Melissa Hornung


Body shots take on new meaning when your new vodka company sponsors a co-ed polo team which isn’t afraid to go full out in this contact sport.

The fetching Charles Ferri launches his new Star Vodka on and off the polo field, picking his favorite “divot” stomping grounds, the Hamptons.  HipHamptons visited him as he cheered on his Star Vodka polo team at Southampton Polo.

Charles Ferri and HH Heather Buchanan

Charles Ferri and HH Heather Buchanan

HH: How are you picking places to debut Star Vodka?

CF: This is a limited production product, and it’s meant to be in boutique luxury markets.  We’ll focus on the Hamptons first, and now we’re going into other affluent markets: Scarsdale, Larchmont, Westchester, Manhattan and Vail in December.  We’re also approaching other key places like Chicago.

HH: And you’re very personally involved?

CF: We’re very hands on with our venues.  With this new brand I develop every new account and am the face of the brand.  It’s a lot of work.  When I’m ready to get my tan I hope it’s still summer.  God it’s embarrassing how white I am – I don’t want to take my shirt off

Charles Ferri

Charles Ferri

HH: What if we said please?  … So how do you set your vodka apart?

CF: I don’t want this to be a mainstream commercial vodka.

HH: So you’re not going to be Popov?

CF: Security – escort her. (laughs) Star is a very smooth vodka.  I only had women taste it when I was developing it. I wanted women to feel comfortable drinking this on the rocks and drinking straight martinis so this is a ridiculously smooth, smooth vodka.

We’re in a world of mixology and it’s brilliant but I created the product for people who love the taste of vodka, the purist

HH: So it’s the get naked vodka and stay naked.

CF:  We actually do have the Star Voyeur which is a Star martini with a hint of cucumber.

HH: Tell us what this vodka is made from.

CF: It’s made from corn, Midwestern corn.  It’s an American product.  When I started the research everyone said you have to go to Europe, Russia, Poland, or France and you’ll have no chance with an American based product.  I said, well now I have to do it.  There’s no reason that we can’t have a world renowned vodka product from here.

HH: So if it’s made from corn is it glutton free?

CF: Yes, which is important to many people with diet issues.  We just did a cocktail menu for The Boathouse in East Hampton and noted that it’s glutton free on the menu.

HH: Where else can we find Star Vodka and hopefully you here?

CF: We’re in Georgica, RdV East, Sen and Phao in Sag Harbor, the American Hotel, Sag Harbor Liquor Store, and MacNamaras Liquors in Bridgehampton Commons.

Star Vodka Polo Team

Star Vodka Polo Team

HH: How’d you get involved in sponsoring a polo team?

CF: Our captain Yvonne Morbito – I met her out here and we were talking and she mentioned having a polo team.  The image of polo fits with what Star Vodka is about.  She said she was looking for someone to come and brand the team and the light bulb went on.  I was like… done.  It’s a learning experience for me of the sport and the more I see the more I love.  Now maybe we’ll sponsor polo teams in different parts of the country.

HH: It’s impressive – even for the female polo players this is a full contact sport.

CF:  That’s why I’m on the sidelines.

HH: Will we see you get on a polo pony?

CF: I’d probably fall off which wouldn’t be great if I have to be at a night club that night.  Growing up my sister rode a pony but I mucked the stalls.

HH: Clearly you weren’t the favorite.

CF: (smiling) I was a middle child.

HH: Where is the Star brand going?

CF: It’s morphed into more than I ever thought.  It started as a lounge and night club [The infamous Star Room] and then I had an opportunity to develop a vodka, and now it’s fashion.  I’m designing jackets for a label.  The whole concept of Star is to make people feel like they’re special and with the night clubs you create an image and you have a line out front and that makes you want to be in there even more.

HH: Will you let them in?

CF: It depends.  You want to keep the integrity of what you created.  I say no more than I say yes and I think that is how you build a luxury brand.  With Star Vodka I say no three times more than I say yes.

HH: We’ll take that 25% chance – and even come with our own Star Vodka Lip Gloss.

CF:  There’s an idea.

HH: So what’s next?

CF: California… I need a vacation.

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