Photographed by Annie Leibovitz

Muhammad Ali Joins Louis Vuitton’s Core Values Campaign

Photographed by Annie Leibovitz

The latest personality to feature in Louis Vuitton’s Core Values advertising campaign is among the most outstanding athletes the world has ever seen – indeed, he was crowned “Sportsman of the Century” by Sports Illustrated in 1999. Louis Vuitton is proud to present “The Greatest”: Muhammad Ali.

The first ever 3-time World Heavyweight Champion, Muhammad Ali defeated every top heavyweight in his era, which is widely regarded as the golden age of heavyweight boxing. He was involved in some of the greatest bouts in boxing history, including the “Fight of the Century” against his rival Joe Frazier at Madison Square Garden in 1971 and the “Rumble in the Jungle” in Zaire in 1974, when he regained his world title from George Foreman. Muhammad Ali’s unorthodox boxing style – which he famously described as “float[ing] like a butterfly, sting[ing] like a bee” – brought unprecedented grace and speed to the heavyweight category.

An athlete, artist, humanitarian, and outspoken political figure of unwavering integrity, Ali changed the world around him and remains a figure of inspiration to millions.

For Louis Vuitton, Muhammad Ali was photographed by Annie Leibovitz at his home in Arizona, watching one of his grandsons who, wearing a pair of boxing gloves, stands proudly as if waiting to enter the ring. Is this young boy preparing to follow in the footsteps of his illustrious grandfather? The tagline reads: “Some stars show you the way. Muhammad Ali and a rising star. Phoenix, Arizona.”

Yves Carcelle, Chairman and CEO of Louis Vuitton, comments: “Muhammad Ali is the epitome of an outstanding personality – a true living legend in boxing and far beyond. We are honoured that he agreed to be photographed for the Core Values campaign, and delighted with the way this beautiful portrait of the champion and his grandson captures the idea of transmission, which is of great significance to Louis Vuitton.”

The visual of Muhammad Ali will appear in international titles from 15th June 2012. Ahead of the print campaign, a teaser will be launched exclusively on the tablet version of the website on 13th June and two days later on louisvuitton.com, revisiting some of the most memorable moments and quotes from the boxer’s astonishing career. This will be followed, at the end of July, by a participative video campaign featuring the rapper Yasiin Bey and the graffiti artist Shoe, who will each interpret in their own style some of Muhammad Ali’s immortal words. Both the teaser and the participative campaign can be viewed at louisvuittonjourneys.com/thegreatest.

About Louis Vuitton Core Values Campaign

Travel is a fundamental and defining value of Louis Vuitton’s more than 150-year heritage. The Core Values campaign was launched in 2007 as a long-term restatement of Louis Vuitton’s legacy as the pioneer of the Art of Travel. Travel is much more than the physical act of going from one place to another or the discovery of a new destination. Travel is an emotional experience, a process of self-discovery. We all have the potential to accomplish our own personal journeys. Louis Vuitton has a long tradition of associations with exceptional people. Naturally, the Core Values campaign features personalities of truly global stature ranging in professions and backgrounds. Above and beyond their celebrity status, they are individuals who are widely recognized to have lived full and interesting lives – people who have accomplished personal journeys of their own.

Image via Louis Vuitton