Michael Phelps Takes A Bath At The Behest Of Louis Vuitton (UPDATED)
Looks like Ryan Lochte isn’t the only Team USA swimmer dipping his toes into the fashion industry. Louis Vuitton has reportedly tapped Michael Phelps as their latest campaign star, although that doesn’t mean the world’s most decorated Olympian is getting all gussied up for the luxury retailer. Instead, he dons his usual attire of a Speedo and goggles in the ad, casually leaving his LV luggage crumpled in a heap on the floor while he reclines in a slightly smaller body of water than he’s generally accustomed to: a bathtub.
The 27-year-old retiree (this year’s Olympic Games were his last) was photographed by Annie Leibovitz for the campaign, the same photographer who previously shot teammates like Lochte, Hope Solo, and Serena Williams for Vogue‘s less-than-successful Olympian issue.
We can’t help but wonder whether the bathtub means Phelps is taking Lochte’s Funny Or Die sketch to heart. Although we hope not because, well, ew.
UPDATE: It seems Phelps did indeed put on a suit other than a Speedo for LV. The campaign’s second image features the swimmer seated alongside Larisa Latynina, the former Soviet gymnast who held the world record for most decorated Olympian until Phelps overtook her medal count this year. As you might expect, it’s significantly cuter and less creepy than the first photo.
UPDATE #2: The Cut now reports that Louis Vuitton claims the image was “stolen” and “is NOT an LV image.” Interesting… so does anyone care to explain the very conspicuous LV luggage sitting next to that bathtub?
UPDATE #3: We have been asked to take the image down.