Aug. 13, 2012 at 2:30 PM ET
Lucky for us, the end of Michael Phelps’ swimming career doesn’t mean the end of him strutting his stuff in a Speedo.
Though the swimmer announced his retirement at the London 2012 Olympics, it looks like the most decorated Olympian of all time isn’t quite ready to pack up the goggles and call it a day — especially when it comes to hawking handbags.
What is the first of what will probably be a maelstrom of product endorsements by Phelps, Louis Vuitton just unveiled a new ad for its iconic bags with the famous swimmer front-and-center. The ad shows Phelps, 27, giving a sultry look while reclined in a bathtub, goggles resting on his forehead. The Louis Vuitton bag is just beside him with a pair of folded jeans resting on top of it. We don't see a shirt anywhere, and that's ok with us. The campaign was reportedly shot by Annie Leibovitz.
In another photo for the fashion brand's campaign, Phelps has apparently emerged from the bathtub squeaky clean and ready to drink tea with Larisa Latynina of Russia, 77, who held the record as the most decorated Olympian. She held the title for the last 48 years until Phelps' performance in London. Phelps now holds 22 medals, and Latynina, a former gymnast, held a record 18 medals.
The ad marks Phelps' first post-2012 Olympics ad campaign and it comes ahead of his first television gig, a reality TV show on the Golf Channel called "The Haney Project," which follows his training by Hank Haney, the previous coach of Tiger Woods. We’d like to suggest Phelps keeps his current fashion statement of a Speedo with minimal accessories while practicing his golf swing.
It was a surprise for some fashionistas to see Phelps in the ad for the bags, as his former teammate and rival Ryan Lochte is a noted clotheshorse and lover of high fashion. Lochte was also the unofficial heartthrob of the London Olympics, and could arguably be the more likely guy ladies would like to trap in their bathroom, especially since Phelps is happily coupled with model Megan Rossee. But perhaps Lochte is just in the next bathroom over, adjusting his grills in anticipation of his closeup.
What do you think of Phelps' new ad campaign? Are you a fan? Let us know!