The 2024 Olympic Games are only 494 days away and they have yet to find a significant luxury sponsor.
Set to kick off next year, on 26 July, the Paris-based sporting event has announced a number of supporters, including Panasonic, AIRBNB and AliBaba. However, despite the city being one of the most famous homes of fashion, very few style leaders have been confirmed as partners. Only Omega, the luxury watch brand, has been declared as the ‘official timekeeper’ of the Games.
Marking a glaring absence is the world leader in luxury goods LVMH.
Also known as LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, the French multinational conglomerate is headquartered in Paris, making it – to the layman at the very least – a perfect sponsor for the city’s Olympics spectacular.
While rumours have been swirling about a potential partnership between LVMH and the 2024 Games since Paris won the bid, nothing has been confirmed.
Home to some of the highest end brands, including Christian Dior, Tiffany & Co and Fendi, the hugely successful company is worth over €400 billion, making it the most valuable business in all of Europe.
Even though their involvement in the Olympic Games is still at the rumour stage, it’s still been somewhat marred in controversy. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) reached out to the International Olympic Committee last year to try to get their support in an ongoing effort to stop fashion brands using fur and exotic skins in their offerings.
In a 2022 letter sent to IOC president Thomas Bach, PETA urged the committee to “only accept sponsorship from LVMH or any other fashion company if it agrees to stop selling fur and exotic skins”. The letter went on to cite the fabrics as sources of risk for future pandemics.
The 2024 Olympics are likely to be something of a resurgence of the style of past Games, given that the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games were postponed to July 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics were held behind closed doors, with hardly any spectators.
Whether PETA’s calls will affect LVMH’s decision whether to partner with the Olympic Games remains up in the air, one thing is certain – no member of the conglomerate will design the uniforms for the French Olympic and Paralympic teams.
Instead, it will be Parisian designer Stéphane Ashpool, who has been named artistic director in charge of the uniforms. Alongside the Pigalle Paris founder, French athletic brand Le Coq Sportif – who are not owned by LVMH – will manufacture the performance wear for sports across the board. Ashpool was chosen by the IOC from a shortlist of five designers and Le Coq Sportif was selected from three manufacturers.
Founded in 1882, the well-established French brand has announced it’s able to produce the majority of the uniforms in France, many of them just an hour away from Paris in Romilly-sur-Seine.