When John Manion of the now year-old La Sirena Clandestina approached us about making buttons last October, we had no idea just how familiar the restaurant’s mermaid image would become around the Busy Beaver office. Though the name translates as “the hidden mermaid,” the restaurant’s iconic siren is unmistakable now that it’s been emblazoned on more than 7000 buttons over the past year.
As John, La Sirena’s chef and owner, described, “We started our Busy Beaver partnership with an image of mermaid-ed Brigitte Bardot that had become something of a figurehead for La Sirena Clandestina. Bardot visited Buzios, an obscure fishing village near Rio de Janeiro, with her Brazilian boyfriend in the 1960’s and her trip is a time stamp on a very cool scene, one we used as a template for the vibe of La Sirena Clandestina.”
The mermaid image was wheat-pasted all over the neighborhood in anticipation of the restaurant’s opening and John said, “It was logical that we continued with the trend for our first run of buttons, which we started handing out immediately. We’ve switched up color palettes with the seasons, but we’ve stuck with our original Bardot Mermaid.”
The mermaid was first printed on our fall paper special colors last fall– a trio of paper colors in bronze, gold and rusty orange. John also experimented with our metallic effect, utilizing a silver background as well as an inverted image with a photo-negative look and one batch with a metallic ocean-blue background. The mermaid has recently been featured on a fluorescent pink background, a fun play on the ultra-feminine imagery.
As La Sirena Clandestina moves into its second year, their buttons will be updated to match the restaurant’s continuing evolution. Though John assured us that the Bardot mermaid isn’t gone completely (“We’ll do some limited edition runs at some point.”), the new buttons, designed by local firm Nitewerk, will feature an image that “stays true to our original inspiration for the restaurant, but is also reflective of how we’ve changed and grown.” We’ll be sure to share the new buttons that will, no doubt, be another iconic image for La Sirena.