The most decorated Olympian of all time Michael Phelps has hit the big time, landing a spot in the latest Louis Vuitton Core Values campaign.
Following in the footsteps of Sean Connery and Catherine Deneuve, Michael Phelps, 27, poses with one of the French label’s famous monogrammed bags.
He stars alongside former Soviet gymnast Larisa Latynina, 77, also an Olympic champion many times over, having won 18 medals in her impressive career.
The caption beneath, which is written in Italian, bears the words: “Due percorsi straordinari. Uno stesso destino”, which translates as: “Two extraordinary paths. The same fate.”
The new Core Values campaign image was released at the same time as another image of the swimming star, wearing trunks and goggles in a bath, with an LV-monogrammed bag beside the tub.
Though it is designed to look like it too is for Louis Vuitton, the luxury label said: “It is not an official Louis Vuitton image.”
The official new advertisement is the latest in an ongoing series, all shot by celebrated U.S. portrait photographer Annie Leibowitz.
The campaign has also featured images of Francis Ford Coppola with his daughter Sofia, Rolling Stones rocker Keith Richards and even Mikhail Gorbachev.
The purpose of the Louis Vuitton series runs deeper than straightforward promotion however.
The Core Values campaign supports Al Gore’s Climate Change project.
“We are delighted with its success” says Pietro Beccari, Louis Vuitton’s Senior Vice-President of Communication and Marketing.
“Our aim was to broaden the idea of travel beyond its geographical dimension, and the campaign has achieved this in a truly remarkable way. We are particularly proud of the acclaim it has received from within the advertising industry, witnessed by numerous awards.”
“This is a good example of how a business can be innovative and successful, and at the same time environmentally responsible,” said Al Gore on the project.