LOUIS VUITTON IN SPORTS
Last week (01/09/23) Louis Vuitton announced the appointment of its latest ambassador, Tennis star Carlos Alcaraz, ahead of the LVMH-sponsored 2024 Paris Olympics. As countdowns begin for the historic sporting event, we take a look back at Louis Vuitton’s rarely talked about but totally iconic relationship with sports.
THE LOUIS VUITTON CUP
The Louis Vuitton Cup described the ‘Challenger Selection Series’ of the America’s Cup sailing competition between the years of 1983 and 2017. Now called The Prada Cup, It sees yachting crews from across the globe compete in rough and unpredictable waters to determine who are the fastest seafarers.
The year 2000 saw the release of Louis Vuitton’s America’s Cup collection for men and women, with a slick campaign by Juergen Teller. Amongst bags and apparel, the French luxury house released a set of ergonomic minimalist trainers and mules in supple light blue and red suede with a practical deck-approved gum sole. An accompanying leather strap allowed the owner to dangle them candidly around the neck. The Prada America’s Cup trainers released three years prior are undoubtedly more recognisable, with the Louis Vuitton’s falling by the wayside, however, their minimalist and utilitarian design, coupled with a playful edge is no less distinctive.
LOUIS VUITTON 1998 FIFA WORLD CUP
In 1998 France hosted the FIFA World Cup, going on to win on home soil. Louis Vuitton produced luxury canvas Monogram Footballs to mark the occasion. The ball would feature in Xavier Lambours' 1999 photobook Rebonds, in which famous personalities of the time posed with the ball. Notable figures include Sean Connery, Noel Gallagher, and Neomi Campbell. The proceeds from the book went to the children's charity UNICEF.
LOUIS VUITTON X THE NBA
Louis Vuitton collaborated with the NBA in 2020 and 2021 under the creative direction of Virgil Abloh. For their second season of collaboration, their bold insignias were bought together in luxury kit bags, crafted from basketball-esque full-grain leather, and featuring net detailing in reference to the hoops.
After the passing of Mr Abloh, Louis Vuitton continued the NBA collaboration in his memory. For Spring Summer 2022, the house took on the colour scheme of the league, producing a selection of backpacks and holdalls in a blue, white and red monogram canvas. A nod to the brand's history of creating bespoke travel cases, an NBA trophy case was also featured.