Fashion / Style

Louis Vuitton and the NBA Get Trophy Happy — Sports’ Most Fashionable League Adds Stylish New Teammate

Famed Fashion House Inks Deal With Basketball's Overlords

BY Georgie Ferrell and Steven Hempel // 01.24.20

The National Basketball Association is upping its game — its fashion game. The land of Zion Williamson has struck a multi-year deal with French fashion house Louis Vuitton.

The partnership was inked just in time for the legendary luggage to be unveiled in Paris at Friday’s game between the Charlotte Hornets and the Milwaukee Bucks — the first-ever regular season NBA game played in France.

Louis Vuitton is even creating a custom traveling case for the league’s Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy. The new case for the trophy, handcrafted by Vuitton artisans at their workshop in Asnières, France, features the classic LV monogram and a large white V for victory with the NBA’s classic red and blue trim on the front.

Once the trophy is awarded to the 2020 champions at the NBA Finals in June, the winners will temporarily take ownership of both the prized hardware and its sophisticated protector. The creation of the trophy case is the first product of the forthcoming launch of a limited-edition capsule collection of NBA-themed clothes and accessories that will be designed by Louis Vuitton artist director Virgil Abloh and released this fall.

Louis vuITTON NBA Trophy Case Monogram
The Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy just got a lot more stylish with the help of Louis Vuitton. (Courtesy of Louis Vuitton)

This collaboration marks a first time Louis Vuitton has worked with a North American sports team.

In 2005, then commissioner David Stern instituted a dress code for all players and staff. The policy change — at the time controversial because some (including several prominent stars) felt it targeted African-American players  — stipulated that all players must wear business appropriate attire when on any official team event. This marked the first time an American sports league had instituted such a dress code.

Seen by many as a divisive move, it became an important cultural moment in fashion. NBA stars moved from tracksuits to custom tailored suits and the league eventually gained a rep as the most stylish sports league in America. The trend gained momentum making it the norm for players to not only be role models for their athletic talents but for their dapper wardrobe styling as well.

Houston Rockets MVP James Harden, who landed on the cover of GQ magazine, epitomizes this transformation and the huge impact it has had on both pop culture and the fashion industry. NBA players are now fashion icons who frequently collaborate with designers and have become regulars at high-profile fashion shows.

Now, the NBA and Louis Vuitton seem like a natural fit.

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