Photo Credit: Louis Vuitton
Michael Phelps is retired from doing the butterfly stroke, but his new photos are still giving us butterflies. The 18-time gold medal winner has surfaced in a new Louis Vuitton ad campaign, which proves that he looks good in everything from a Speedo to a three-piece suit.
In the first of the new ads, the Olympian lounges in a bathtub wearing only his swimsuit and goggles, his jeans peeking out of a waterproof Vuitton duffle beside him. The other ad -- click here to see it! -- shows the 27-year-old athlete dressed to the nines in a tailored suit and tie, chatting on an elegant couch with an equally elegant lady: 77-year-old former Soviet gymnast Larisa Latynina, who held the record for most Olympic medals until Phelps came along with his 22. Latynina is drinking tea, and the Vuitton duffle bag is casually crumpled by Phelps' feet. (Maybe his Speedo is in it?)
Both images were shot by celebrity photographer Annie Leibovitz as part of Vuitton's "Core Values" campaign, which has also featured Angelina Jolie (remember that allegedly makeup-free photo taken in Cambodia?), Bono and Muhammad Ali. In Phelps' case, there's definitely truth in advertising: he was photographed in London carrying his medals to a club in a Vuitton duffle bag!
The high-end designer is the latest brand to get an endorsement from Michael Phelps, but it won't be the last. Prior to his record-breaking performance in London, he was already making millions from sponsorship deals with companies like Under Armour, AT&T and PowerBar. He had a brief setback when he was photographed with a bong in 2009, which led to one of his bigger sponsors, Kellogg's cereal, dropping him from their ads. But now that he's the most decorated Olympian in history, all is forgiven -- and we can expect to start seeing him everywhere. Preferably in a Speedo.