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Tennis players Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal star in the new Louis Vuitton Core campaign with the tagline, “There are journeys that turn into legends”. (Photo: Louis Vuitton)

Athletes appear to be the fashion industry’s latest ambassadors of choice. The sports and fashion industries have always been closely intertwined, with talented athletes sporting fashion’s biggest names at worldwide sports events. The powerful relationship is now more evident than ever, with numerous luxury brands ensuring the star power of the athletes through ambassadorships, brand deals and collaborations. Perhaps the growing popularity comes as the Summer 2024 Paris Olympics draws near which, LVMH will sponsor in a bid to leverage growth in brand awareness and potential affinity through the popularity of athletic associations.

Louis Vuitton has tapped into this hype by bringing together two of tennis’ biggest heavyweights, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, for the brand’s latest campaign. The tennis champions star in the French luxury brand’s new “Core Values” campaign, which was shot by famed photographer Annie Leibovitz at Italy’s Dolomites mountain range.

Federer and Nadal are captured in the campaign atop the summit of a mountain. Despite the wintry landscape, the athletes are dressed simply in T-shirts and trousers, with standout accessories: Federer sports the Louis Vuitton Monogram Christopher backpack, while Nadal carries the Maison’s Monogram Eclipse bag. The campaign has already begun drawing attention for showcasing the two athletes walking side by side, despite famously being each other’s biggest rivals on the tennis court.

Read More: Sporting Events Have Become Fashion’s Biggest Marketing Tool

“How we could be such rivals and then at the end of our careers be beside each other doing this campaign has been very cool,” says Federer, who has won a record-setting 20 Grand Slam titles throughout his tennis career. “And where we are here today, I think it also embodies everything: at the peak of the mountains. For us, it is something meaningful and special.”

Nadal, who earned his historic 14th French Open title just last year, echoes the sentiment, saying, “I know how many important icons have been part of this campaign, so for me personally, being part of it is something that I am very proud of, especially sharing it with Roger. He has been my biggest rival and now a close friend today.”

Louis Vuitton’s Core Values campaign is known for its famous faces from outside of the fashion world, especially sports stars. In 2022, the Maison broke the Internet with a campaign featuring football icons Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi playing chess. The image generated countless memes online. An older campaign starred players Pelé, Maradona and Zinedine Zidane. 

Football players Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo previously starred in Louis Vuitton’s Core Values campaign in 2022, which went viral (Photo: Louis Vuitton)

“Each Core Values chapter celebrates Louis Vuitton’s legacy of travel, of working with exceptional people, and of transmission–both physical and emotional,” says Pietro Beccari, the chairman and CEO of Louis Vuitton. 

He adds, “It has been brilliant to work with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal on this new story–both inspirational athletes, fierce friends, and testaments to the discipline and excellence of their own personal sporting journeys.”

Louis Vuitton’s choice to cast tennis players couldn’t be more timely. In 2024, the sport has been in the spotlight in the fashion world, owing to the rise of the preppy fashion trend, which draws upon tennis uniform staples like polo shirts, as well as the buzz around Challengers, a new tennis film starring Louis Vuitton ambassador Zendaya. With its new campaign starring Federer and Nadal, two of the biggest stars in the tennis world, Louis Vuitton has yet another winning moment in its hands.

A version of this article was first seen on Grazia.sg

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