Lillian McKnight • 14 August 2012

London’s torch may have been extinguished, but the glow of our sporting greats lives on and, from Stella McCartney’s Team GB uniforms to the parade of supermodels at the Closing Ceremony, the fashion establishment has certainly shown quite an interest in the whole thing. Having announced his retirement following a stellar performance at the London Olympics (four golds and two silvers, natch), swimmer Michael Phelps shows that there’s life in the old dog yet, featuring in a new campaign for Louis Vuitton.

Shot by Annie Leibovitz, the campaign is a refreshingly tongue-in-cheek look at the decorated athlete, who is the most successful Olympian of all time, racking up twenty-two medals over the course of his career. The first shot sees Phelps taking a well-deserved bath, wearing a pair of budgie smugglers (don’t get any ideas, Tony Abbott). By his side, of course, is some fairly exxy looking LV luggage. The second image stars former Russian gymnast Larisa Latynina probably having a few heated words with young Phelps— prior to his efforts in London, Latynina was credited as the most highly decorated gymnast.

The new choice of face is an intriguing choice for the luxury label. As a self-confessed McDonald’s addict, Phelps is not the sort of dude you’d imagine carting around an illustriously monogrammed piece of leather. With Olympic fever still doing the rounds, however, now is as good a time as any to put those finely sculpted abdominals to commercial use. What’s next? Usain Bolt for Dior Homme?