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Louis Vuitton and NBA Mark Luxury’s Growing Affinity for Basketball Style

Lovers of luxury and basketball have a new reason to rejoice: fashion house Louis Vuitton has teamed up with the NBA for an ongoing partnership.

A capsule collection of clothing, branded luggage and other accessories—all designed by the label’s famed creative director and streetwear pioneer, Virgil Abloh—will debut in October, WWD first reported last week.

The collection’s apparel reportedly will be inspired by the lives of basketball stars and will be crafted for different wearing occasions. The press conference, the match and travel will all be thematic influences for Abloh’s designs.

With this collaboration, the French label will build upon a precedent of sports collaborations. The collection’s first release will be a Larry O’Brien Trophy case, to be gifted to the team that wins the NBA Finals in June.

Louis Vuitton has previously produced trophy cases for the America’s Cup, the FIFA World Cup, the Rugby World Cup and the Roland-Garros tennis tournament.

And in December, the brand broke into the world of eSports, releasing a capsule collection of 40 products inspired by the virtual battle arena League of Legends.

The high-fashion gear—which included sneakers, T-shirts, jackets, hoodies, track pants and more—ranged from $170 for a silk bandeau tie to $5,600 for a leather jacket.

The NBA partnership will span multiple years, Louis Vuitton told WWD, and will kick off with a cocktail party at its flagship on Avenue Montaigne in Paris to unveil the trophy case.

The deal represents the company’s first and only relationship to-date with a North American sports organization.

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The league, however, has cozied up to other fashion brands in the past.

NBA deputy commissioner Mark Tatum cited streetwear brands Supreme, Marcelo Burlon, Jeremy Scott, The Elder Statesman and Maison Kitsune as previous collaborators.

They’ve never had a high-fashion heavy hitter like Louis Vuitton, though.

“We have done other collaborations with other fashion houses before, but nothing at this level and at this scale,” the deputy commissioner told WWD.

“We know from social media that our fans follow that and are big fans of the Louis Vuitton brand,” he said. “We know that they’re going to be excited about this new partnership and collaboration.”

There’s increasing crossover today between luxury fashion, streetwear and professional basketball’s biggest stars. Last year, Poshmark revealed how sports and style icons like Steph Curry, Kevin Love and Iman Shumpert influenced product sales on the popular peer-to-peer fashion resale platform. And stars like Russell Westbook have become regular fixtures in front-row fashion-week seats. Westbook served as the muse for 10-piece fall capsule released by Acne Studios, featuring denim, oversized shirts and outerwear inspired by the athlete’s personal style.