Buttons and patches of Team France's tuxedo.

“From the very beginning, of course there was some pressure,” Harold Israel tells me. We’re sat in a room at the Fondation Simone et Cino Del Duca in Paris, a 19th-century private mansion that became the site of Berluti’s Spring/Summer 2025 presentation this past June. The vice president of marketing and image at Berluti regaled me with details of the challenges that the Maison had to overcome in creating the outfits for Team France for the opening ceremonies to the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Israel doesn’t downplay the monumental pressure that the Berluti team felt from the moment that the House was chosen to outfit the French national team. Parent company LVMH’s signing on as premium partner of the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games—an announcement that was made in July last year—involves the participation of a number of its maisons through different facets of the Games. Louis Vuitton’s trunk-making expertise sees it crafting Medals Trunks as well as Torches Trunks to house the competitions' medals and relay torches respectively; Chaumet’s design studio took charge of the medal designs; Sephora created activations that will travel along with the Torch Relay; Dior has adopted more and more athletes into its fold as ambassadors; and Berluti will dress 1,500 athletes representing France. Arguably, Berluti’s task seems the heaviest.

On 26 July, 400 members of Team France will officially make their debut to billions of spectators worldwide. Not only will they be representing France, they’ll be representing the host country and by association, French style and elegance that have long been regarded as one of the blueprints of fashion as we know it. And thanks to Berluti, they’ll be doing so in a rather elegant manner.

“The two main points that were really on our minds throughout this project were elegance and comfort,” explains Israel. “The outfits for the French team during the last Olympics were very much sports driven, given that the partner was different. Being the partner for this edition, our expertise isn’t sporty, so we really pushed for a more elegant aesthetic.” He goes on to say that the Maison was given carte blanche in the design, save for the usual guidelines enforced by the International OIympic Committee.

The decision was to go with what Berluti knows best: craftsmanship. Working within the framework of its time-honoured craftsmanship across footwear, leather goods, and tailoring, the tuxedo became the starting point. Israel tells me that a lot of considerations were made with respect to the nature of the event—it’s a ceremony and not a red carpet event after all. At the end of the day, Berluti wanted the athletes to “dress up, feel very beautiful, and be proud and empowered”.

The tuxedo is undoubtedly a powerful piece of item that’s by definition the epitome of elegance in dress. Berluti’s challenge was to tweak the idea of the tuxedo such that it could be manipulated to fit into the grandeur of the ceremony while paying homage to the nature of the Games, and at the same time, incorporate codes of the Maison. “We didn’t want to put 'Berluti' on it—we felt it was a bit cheap and not elegant. We needed to brand in a very subtle way. Berluti is about savoir-faire and we are quite well known for the patina effect that we’re the only one to master, so we decided to apply this on the silk shawl collar of the tuxedo, making it very singular and outstanding,” explains Israel.

I asked if the Scritto—another Berluti signature—was ever considered to be part of the design. Israel quickly reminded me of the subtleties that Berluti wanted to imbue into the final design. The Scritto might have been considered “too much Berluti” for an event that was not about the Maison, but rather, the French athletes. A fair point indeed.

The chosen patina cleverly utilises the three colours of the France national flag and was done in the same handcrafted manner typical of patinas seen in every Berluti creation. It stands out against the midnight blue hue of the tuxedo but not glaringly so. Israel tells me that once the patina and silhouette of the tuxedo was set in stone, the small details fell into place and were carefully designed—a small team emblem stitched right on the bottom-left pocket, a detailed label specially designed for the Games and positioned inside of the tuxedo, and even belts, scarves and pocket squares rendered in the “French flag” patina to tie the entire look together.

True to the Maison’s personalised nature, semblances of it have been adapted into the opening ceremonies outfits. Female athletes have the options of choosing between a pair of trousers or a wrap-around skirt. Together with the coaches, they will also be afforded the option of wearing either the Berluti Shadow trainers (also trimmed with the specially designed patina) with the trousers or the more formal Lorenzo loafers to be paired with skirts. Male athletes will stick to the standard tuxedo and paired with the Shadow trainers—a mash of elegance and comfort that’s the very basis of the project.

Expectedly, one of the greatest challenges was in dressing a very diverse group of individuals, not just in terms of body measurements, but also in very specific ways. “From the beginning, we had a lot of interactions with the athletes because they are the ones who will be wearing the outfits, and some of them have experiences from previous Olympics or Paralympics opening ceremonies,” Israel expounds. “They came in with a lot of feedback and expectations. Once we collected all those notes, we started to understand what we were supposed to do and what not to do.” The Paralympians, for example, had to be given a more bespoke treatment due to their individual needs. “I think, in that sense, this was also what was expected of us, not to do a one-size-fits-all approach,” affirms Israel.


The results speak for themselves. Looking at the outfits up close, I could tell that the make was every bit Berluti—the fine attention to details, the handcrafted tailoring, and the use of fine materials. But that’s me, someone who won’t be wearing it on a boat sailing along the Seine for the opening ceremonies. Israel informs me that reception from the athletes were very much positive.

“One of the first things the athletes told us when we met them is that a competition can be won from the very first day of the Olympics—even before you enter the field. And they always mention a kind of power that the US team has because firstly, they have fabulous athletes and then they’re all dressed up in Ralph Lauren. Or the Italian team with Armani. The French Team didn't feel they had such a charisma before, so they felt it's super important from the beginning to feel empowered with the way they’re dressed. Now, they’re looking forward to 26 July and 28 August to show the world that they are proud and happy to be in Paris, and they will compete by being super elegant and super comfortable,” expresses Israel.

Some of the firsts members of Team France to wear the outfits by Berluti.

For a small Maison like Berluti, that in itself is a win. Then again, it’s not exactly surprising that Berluti could craft something that feels characteristically French while at the same time exuding the kind of elegance befitting of a significant global event. If anything, it proves that despite its relatively small size compared to the rest of the maisons under LVMH, Berluti is able to take up just about any sartorial challenge and to do so in the way that stays true to the spirit of the Maison.

Photo by Philippe Servent

You're going to be seeing a lot more sports-driven capsule collections by luxury brands leading up to the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games—at least by those under the LVMH umbrella of brands. The French luxury conglomerate headed by the second (at the time of writing) wealthiest man in the world has signed on as a Premium Partner of the Paris 2024 Games.

"This unprecedented partnership with the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games will contribute to heightening the appeal of France around the world. It was only natural that LVMH and its maisons be part of this exceptional international event. The values of passion, excellence and inclusion championed by high-level sports are cultivated each day by our teams, motivated by an unwavering desire to surpass limits. Sports is a tremendous source of inspiration for our maisons, which will unite creative excellence and athletic performance by contributing their savoir-faire and bold innovation to this extraordinary celebration," says LVMH chairman and chief executive officer Bernard Arnault.

The deal means that LVMH and its groups of luxury brands—across fashion, jewellery, cosmetics, and wine and spirits—will partake in key moments throughout the Games.

Parisian jeweller Chaumet is tasked with crafting the Games' medals that will be received by athletes who have proven their mettle and skills in each event. LVMH's drinks division with Möet Hennessy wines and spirits will take charge of the hospitality elements for guests as well as athletes. During the Olympic Torch Relay, Sephora is set to organise activations for the public at stops as well as key locations along the route.

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On the fashion front, Louis Vuitton, Dior, and Berluti are set to announce their activations that will be scheduled all the way till the opening ceremony of Paris 2024. While little is known about the exact plans, it's been reported by multiple media sources that there's the possibility that the brands will be sponsoring uniforms. What LVMH has announced in its official press release is the 'Artisans of All Victories' principle that will guide the group's decision to support individual athletes too. The first is Léon Marchand—the 21-year-old who is France's leading hope for a medal in swimming.

As Premium Partner, LVMH is also dedicated to not only support professional athletes but also prospective ones. The group will partner French non-profit organisation Secours populaire français in support of a program to facilitate access to sports for underprivileged youths aged between 4 to 25. The aid will include funding for sports association memberships, training programs and beginner classes.

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LVMH is by no means a stranger to the sports arena, especially in relation to its luxury fashion maisons. Louis Vuitton, for example, has continuously partnered up with big-named sporting events the likes of the Rugby World Cup, Davis Cup, Formula 1 Grand Prix de Monaco, as well as the 2022 FIFA World Cup. The maison also most recently signed tennis player Carlos Alcazar as its house ambassador, days before he became a Wimbledon champion.

The Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games will mark LVMH's biggest sporting event partnership yet. Not only will they be watched by an estimate of over 13 million spectators and 4 billion television viewers worldwide, it will also be the first time that the Games are hosted by Paris in 100 years.