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    Lifestyle, Luxury, Sport

    The Rise of Luxury Fashion in Sport

    Two powerhouses of modern consumerism are intersecting at an increasingly alarming rate
    1 May, 2024

    At Blend Group we see elite-level sport as a gateway to so many aspects of luxury lifestyle. As such, it’s no surprise to us that the worlds of luxury fashion and professional sport are beginning to collide at an increasingly accelerated velocity.

    Big brands making big entrances

    In recent years, several of the world’s most well-renowned luxury fashion brands have made moves in professional sport. Louis Vuitton, for example, has entered into a recent collaboration with the National Basketball Association (NBA), adding to its longstanding association with sailing’s America’s Cup. The French fashion pioneers teamed up with the NBA back in 2020 to become its first-ever Trophy Travel Case provider.

    Additionally, creator of high-quality products, LVMH, has been heavily involved in the build-up to the Paris 2024 Olympics, as the Games’ Creative Partner. The world’s only group with a presence in all five major luxury market sectors; wines & spirits, fashion & leather goods, perfumes & cosmetics, watches & jewellery, and selective retailing, LMVH has been instrumental in the branding of the event, undertaking responsibilities including medal design and sponsoring certain French athletes.

    Other high-profile recent collaborations include Giorgio Armani’s design of the Italian national football team’s suits, Gucci’s lead sponsorship of the HK Longines Masters and Prada’s partnership with China women’s football team.

    Fencer and Louis Vuitton ambassador Enzo Lefort. Photo: Courtesy of Louis Vuitton

    Athlete’s doubling as style icons

    Professional athletes and sports stars achieving status as style icons isn’t a completely new phenomenon, however, until recently they’ve seldom been associated with the world’s most luxury brands. David Ginola, for example, turned heads in the 90s with his on-screen performances, but for a run-of-the-mill shampoo company.

    In more modern times, however, audiences have witnessed Cristiano Ronaldo represent Emporio Armani, Carlos Alcaraz and LeBron James partner with Louis Vuitton, Emma Raducanu team up with Dior, Son Heung-min, Marcus Rashford and Bukayo Saka enter into lucrative agreements with Burberry, and Jack Grealish sign an apparent seven-figure endorsement contract with Gucci.

    Historically not considered the archetypal faces of these high-end institutions, sports stars are delivering a fresh value prospect by emerging as must-haves for any luxury brand’s ambassador catalogue. Sport gets a significant amount of media coverage, most of which is ‘only live once’, thus garnering huge audiences, leading to the aforementioned brands recognising the coverage potential.

    Louis Vuitton's new trunk for the 37th America’s Cup

    Final say

    Professional sport, and the athletes who compete, are increasingly becoming ‘cool’ in a way that’s rarely been seen in years past. As such, a space is emerging in which luxury brands and sport can coexist and thrive together.

    The international commercial attention achieved drives obvious benefits for the multinational companies, while strategic partnerships provide additional revenue streams and a fresh image for sports stars, organisations and events.

    The meeting of these two worlds seems certain to continue to expand, further cementing the unquestionable connection between elite sport and high-end fashion. It’s these kinds of intersections in which Blend Group operate, as we provide our clients and members with unrivalled luxury lifestyle management, spanning elite sport, events and cultural experiences. If you’d like to find out more about how we can enrich your lifestyle we’d love to hear from you here.

    Blend Group
    Fencer and Louis Vuitton ambassador Enzo Lefort. Photo: Courtesy of Louis Vuitton
    Louis Vuitton's new trunk for the 37th America’s Cup
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