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Iconic flame travels to Marseille in Olympian style via luxurious Louis Vuitton trunk


On Wednesday, May 8, French luxury house Louis Vuitton made history by revealing the Torch Trunk — crate of the Olympic Torch —  in the coastal city of Marseille.

Louis Vuitton’s custom Torch Trunk for the 2024 Paris Olympics – Louis Vuitton

As announced by the brand back in March, Louis Vuitton designed two Medals Trunks and two Torches Trunks as its latest commitment to sports, this time for the most recent edition of the Olympic Games — set to take place from July 26 to August 11 in the French capital.

As an official partner of the Paris 2024 Olympics and Paralympics (under the helm of the LVMH group), the LV-initialed house continues to secure its legacy of savoir-faire in the art of travel, which spans over 170 years. Historically, the brand sealed its involvement in the sports industry in 1988, when it partnered with the the America’s Cup, the sailing competition — which also happens to be the world’s oldest operating sports championship! From then on, Louis Vuitton has been boasting the title of « Artisans of All Victories ».

“We are honoured and extremely proud to be part of the Olympic and Paralympic Games Paris 2024 with the mission of packing and presenting the defining symbols of Paris 2024: the victors’ medals and the torches of the Olympic flame. For over 170 years, Louis Vuitton has been creating trunks that embody excellence, creativity and audacity, values we share with the world’s greatest sporting events. Louis Vuitton and the Olympic and Paralympic Games Paris 2024 share common values such as the quest for excellence, creativity, and the beauty technique. Once again, victory travels in Louis Vuitton.” said Pietro Beccari, Chairman and CEO of Louis Vuitton in a press release. 

For the legendary occasion, LVMH invited a handful of lucky journalists and influencers to admire the Belem’s majestic entrance into the port aboard the Don du Vent, a 1940’s sailboat which has graced in the past the likes of celebrities such as Audrey Hepburn, Richard Burton and Charlie Chaplin.

It was over the course of a twelve-day journey originating from Greece that the Olympic flame traveled aboard the historic Belem, a three-masted 128-year old sailing ship, to finally reach the Phoacean city. Thousands of proud Frenchmen, including President Emmanuel Macron, gathered around the Old Port to witness the ignition of the flame. The torch was carried on land by France’s 2012 Olympic men’s freestyle swimming champion Florent Manaudou and passed onto Paralympic track athlete Nantenin Keita, before being relayed to Marseille-born French rapper Jul to light the Games’ official cauldron.

Olympian swimming champion and first flame-bearer of the 2024 Olympics Florent Manaudou and the Louis Vuitton Torch Trunk – Louis Vuitton

The evening was definitely one to remember, as guests gazed in awe at the dizzying displays of fireworks and air aerobics demonstrations of the Patrouille de France (France’s precision demonstration unit of the French Air and Space Force), which traced five interlaced rings (the Olympics’ most graphic symbol) in the cloud-streaked sky. After the champagne-fueled festivities, those aboard the Don du Vent were escorted to Marseille’s Louis Vuitton store to have a closer look at the Torch Trunk, which was put on display in the 1600m2 hôtel-particulier-turned-store.

The Torch Trunk, which was conceived in the historical ateliers of the house on Paris’s suburb of Asnières-sur-Seine, is a work of elaborate craftsmanship, both inside and outside. The exterior of the leather case is adorned with the famous Damier check, created by the eponymous designer himself in 1888 and considered the first of the brand’s patented motifs. To protect the torches before and after their journeys, each  trunk has circular “sockets” in the base and the lid into which the torch is fitted and held securely in place. Further protection is offered by the trunk’s interior, which is lined with soft black matted leather. Upon the unfolding of the trunk’s doors, one can then reverse the “socket” in the hinged lid to reveal an embossed Paris 2024 logo. Additional details include traditional brass protective corners and closures. As for the Medals Trunk, it is embellished with Louis Vuitton’s 1896 Monogram pattern and features an array of drawers specially designed to hold a staggering 468 medals!

The Belem boat in a fog of smoke residue generated by the Olympian flame arrival’s fireworks – FashionNetwork.com

Louis Vuitton isn’t the only LVMH-owned brand to have celebrated the arrival of the flame in style. Indeed, beauty giant Sephora (which was acquired by Bernard Arnault’s empire in 1997), launched for the occasion the first of its series of ephemeral pop-up stores, which will combine discovery spaces, co-creation activities and special makeup services in selected French cities. In one interactive, lottery-type game, shoppers will be able to randomly pick out tickets bearing prizes, such as discounts, free store items or even tickets to the 2024 Olympic Games.

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