On July 2nd, luxury giant LVMH introduced eco-friendly outfits for the medal bearers at this summer’s Olympics and Paralympics in Paris and announced a major Dior spectacle for the opening ceremony on July 26.

The games will commence less than three weeks after this weekend’s upcoming elections, with France anxious about the possibility of no clear winner after the voting on Sunday, July 7, potentially leading to a period of ungovernable chaos.

Antoine Arnault, the LVMH executive in charge of branding (head of “Image and Environment”), acknowledged they’re monitoring the political situation but emphasised their unwavering excitement for the Olympics. He expressed hope for a temporary political ceasefire, allowing everyone to focus on the spirit of the Games.

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Arnault also hinted at Dior’s involvement in the opening ceremony through a fashion presentation but playfully kept details under wraps, saying with a smile, “There’s a reason to keep some surprises for the big day!”

In 1998, France triumphed in the World Cup, and Yves Saint Laurent orchestrated what likely became the most-watched fashion show ever, held just before the final match.

In the lead-up to the Games (known as JO in France), LVMH has been unveiling the contributions of its various luxury houses. Renowned menswear brand Berluti will craft official ceremony outfits for the French Olympic team. Additionally, Louis Vuitton designed the medal cases and torches, while the prestigious jeweller Maison Chaumet created the coveted medals themselves.

LVMH is extending its Olympic involvement by outfitting the 515 volunteers to present medals at each ceremony. The volunteers’ attire will draw inspiration from the 1924 Paris Olympics, a period known as La Belle Epoque that marked the early days of modern sportswear.

LVMH will provide them a unique unisex uniform for their medal presentation duties. The eco-friendly outfits consist of wide-leg beige pants made from recycled materials featuring a “Cérémonie des Vainqueurs” side stripe. Roomy white polo shirts and Gavroche flat caps complete the look, all utilising fabrics from the French sustainable startup Weturn (a certified B Corp). These limited-edition ensembles are sure to become collector’s items. Fenty Beauty, another LVMH brand, also adds glamour with makeup products for each volunteer.

“These ceremonies are incredible moments in the lives of the athletes, a consecration of their efforts, a moment of communion with the public, and a shared expression of national pride. These absolutely unique moments deserve to be magnified, and they most definitely will be, thanks to the amazing expertise of the maisons of the LVMH Group. These Paris 2024 volunteers will have a chance to share in an absolutely unforgettable experience alongside the athletes. Bravo and thank you!” said Tony Estanguet, President of Paris 2024, in an address.

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In a subtle nod to branding, LVMH’s flagship brand, Louis Vuitton, will provide the monogrammed trays for carrying the three medals – gold, silver, and bronze. This clever approach circumvents the Olympic Charter’s restrictions on advertising at Olympic venues. When questioned about these rules, Arnault, the son of CEO Bernard Arnault and a member of the LVMH board, joked, “Oh, people with a certain culture would probably recognise” the monogram, eliciting knowing laughter from the press conference audience.

Despite LVMH’s significant €100 million sponsorship and their extensive involvement, Arnault expressed some caution. He explained that past data suggests luxury goods sales in Olympic host cities typically don’t see a significant boost during the Games. “The true value lies in the impact on our brand image,” he emphasised.

LVMH’s beverage arm, Moët & Chandon, will be prominently featured as the official champagne supplier of the Games. Further extending its hospitality footprint, the luxury giant has also established three exclusive zones near the Eiffel Tower: La Maison LVMH, Le Club France, and Le Parc des Champions.

As Paris gears up to host the world for the Olympics and Paralympics, LVMH’s commitment to enhancing the games through luxury, tradition, and innovation highlights the group’s dedication to both the athletes and the global audience. With iconic brands like Louis Vuitton, Berluti, and Maison Chaumet contributing their craftsmanship and creativity, the Paris 2024 games are set to be a memorable blend of sport and style.

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