CASE WORK: Louis Vuitton is making its debut on the rugby pitch with the creation of a bespoke case to hold the Webb Ellis Cup, rugby’s greatest prize. Vuitton’s latest trunk will make its debut at the Rugby World Cup final on Oct. 31 in Twickenham, England.
Handmade at the brand’s Asnières workshop near Paris, the travel case has been designed to contain the sterling silver and gold-plate trophy. It is covered in Louis Vuitton’s monogram canvas and has been fitted with the company’s signature brass lock and corners. It opens from the front and at the top to allow the trophy to be easily removed.
The same Vuitton workshop also made the trunk that holds the world’s oldest sporting trophy, the silver ewer of the America’s Cup, which dates to 1851. More recently, Louis Vuitton designed the trophy case for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Trophy.
World Rugby chairman Bernard Lapasset called the Webb Ellis Cup “the most coveted prize in rugby,” and “a symbol of unity, enjoyment, participation and excellence. We are excited about our collaboration with a fashion house as renowned as Louis Vuitton and delighted with the stunning, modern-classic case.”
Michael Burke, chairman and chief executive officer of Louis Vuitton, said the brand’s partnership with World Rugby “holds great meaning for us.” He drew a parallel between Louis Vuitton, the man, and William Webb Ellis, the clergyman said to have created the sport while he was at Rugby School in Warwickshire, England.
“Both men shared the same winning spirit. A century-and-a-half later, for the 8th edition of Rugby World Cup, these two heroes have finally come together,” he said.
The Rugby World Cup will be hosted in England between Sept. 18 and Oct. 31. England Rugby 2015 is the organizing committee for the six-week tournament, to be hosted in 10 English cities and in Cardiff, Wales.
Thirteen match venues will play host to the 48 games with more than two million spectators, including more than 400,000 international traveling fans.