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The Medals for the Paris Olympics Will Be Presented on Louis Vuitton Trays

PARIS At the Tokyo Olympics, medals were presented on a fan-shaped tray made of recyclable thermoplastic polymer. In Paris, they will be carried to the podium on a Louis Vuitton tray covered in the brand’s signature Damier canvas.

Parent company LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, a premium partner of the Olympic Games in Paris, revealed the design on Tuesday alongside the 1920s-inspired outfits designed for the 515 volunteers selected by the Paris 2024 organizing committee to present the medals.

Antoine Arnault, the group’s head of communication, image and environment, began the presentation held in the penthouse of the Bulgari Hotel in Paris by acknowledging the storm clouds on the political horizon following the victory of the far-right National Rally party in the first round of snap parliamentary elections called by President Emmanuel Macron.

If the party secures an absolute majority in the National Assembly in the second round of voting on July 7, France will be governed by a far-right government for the first time since the Vichy Regime during World War II.

“Like all French people, we are following the evolution of the country’s political landscape, but nothing will dim our enthusiasm in the run-up to the Olympic and Paralympic Games,” Arnault told reporters.

With 24 days to go until the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games, he expressed confidence that the sporting event would be a success.

“The very essence of the G20ames is to be a moment of truce, a universal event that brings together countries, people, different persuasions,” he said. “This partnership will in no way be impacted by the political climate in France. We are staying completely detached from it.”

The Paris 2024 Olympic medal bearers' uniforms designed by LVMH

The 2024 Paris Olympics medal bearers’ uniforms designed by LVMH.

Courtesy of LVMH

After revealing the medals created by jeweler Chaumet; the outfits for Team France designed by Berluti for the opening ceremonies, and the trunks to house medals and torches produced by Vuitton, the group lifted the lid on the unisex outfits for the medal bearers, who are selected from national sports federations across France.

“We have designed an elegant, sober, comfortable outfit so that the medal bearers can do their job in the best conditions with hundreds of millions of pairs of eyes around the world focused on them,” Arnault said.

The style of the unisex uniforms, consisting of a polo shirt, loose pants and a traditional gavroche cap, is a nod to the last time Paris hosted the Olympics in 1924, coinciding with the birth of sportswear. “The garments emphasize fluidity and freedom of movement,” LVMH said in a statement.

They are the work of an internal LVMH uniform design team led by Kaori Moritz-Ishikawa. The same team designed the staff uniforms for Pharrell Williams’ latest menswear show for Vuitton.

In line with organizers’ pledge to limit the environmental impact of the costumes for the opening and closing ceremonies of the Games, the outfits are made with 100 percent eco-designed materials sourced from the LVMH Circularity closed-loop textiles recycling ecosystem.

The polo shirts and caps are in a jersey fabric made using offcuts from different LVMH brands that have been upcycled by French start-up Weturn, a certified B Corp company. The polo shirts are made in the Vosges region in France by the family-run Duval company, while the caps are manufactured in Italy.

The pants, made from a poly-wool blend fabric using recycled polyester, are produced by La Fabrique Nomade, a nonprofit that supports the professional integration of refugee artisans in France. The medal bearers will get to keep the outfits and will also receive a set of Fenty Beauty products.

The Paris 2024 Olympic medal bearers' uniforms designed by LVMH

The Paris 2024 Olympic medal bearers’ uniforms designed by LVMH.

Courtesy of LVMH

The medal trays, which hark back to Vuitton’s trunk-making heritage, were crafted by the house’s artisans at one of its leather goods workshops. The exterior is covered by the checkerboard-patterned canvas and the interior is lined with matte black leather. Crafted to be as light as possible, each tray can hold between two and six medals.

Vuitton has a history of sports collaborations, producing trophy cases for the NBA, America’s Cup, FIFA World Cup, Rugby World Cup, Roland-Garros tennis tournament and Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix, epitomized by the tagline: “Victory travels in Louis Vuitton.”

Arnault said Dior would play a role during the opening ceremony and he had “high hopes” that Vuitton will also be represented. Daphné Bürki, styling and costumes director for Paris 2024, had revealed last week that Dior and Vuitton would design looks for the ceremony held on the Seine river, which will also feature 15 emerging designers.

“We wanted to contribute not just as a creative partner of the Opening Ceremony, but to be present throughout the event including the sporting part, and we found this way to be present that is very discreet and at the same time, paradoxically, very visible,” Arnault said. “I think the trays are beautiful and very Vuitton.”

To a reporter who noted that brands traditionally are not visible to this extent, he replied: “As you can see, the Vuitton brand is not visible on the tray. It’s very Vuitton, yes. If you are well versed in this world, you will recognize the Vuitton house and the Vuitton touch. See it however you like: it’s perhaps a clever or subliminal way to be present.”

Tony Estanguet, president of the Paris 2024 Olympic Committee, noted that 95 percent of the budget for the event is financed by private funds, with 82 partners in total. While LVMH did not disclose the financial terms of its sponsorship deal, sources with knowledge of the matter said it put 150 million euros on the table.

The group has planned a series of events in the run-up to the opening ceremony. The Olympic flame will make stops at the Samaritaine Paris department store and at the Louis Vuitton Foundation.

It will welcome partners and clients at the LVMH House, which will take over the We Are Club on Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, and will also be present at the Champions’ Park and Club France, an events space.

LVMH plans to host a private event for celebrities at the Fondation Vuitton on the eve of the Opening Ceremony, and will host guests on the rooftop of the Cheval Blanc hotel and the adjoining LVMH headquarters overlooking the Seine on the big day, Arnault said.

While the Games are expected to have a neutral impact on retail sales in the host city, the executive emphasized it was not a question of short-term returns.

“On the other hand, in terms of image, I hope that it enhances the image of the group and its brands,” he said. “I’m very optimistic about the brand image.”

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