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A Very Different Way of Looking At Luxury

From basketballs to helmets to ski masks to rackets – all stamped with the mark of luxury. If you're in the mood to splurge, we give you the unexpected reasons why.

You have merch – and then you have fashion merch. If you needed concrete proof that the fashion crowd will fight tooth and nail for unique odds and ends stamped with the mark of unmistakable luxury, just look at the recent fervour over Louis Vuitton’s collaboration with Supreme.

Or, perhaps Balenciaga’s candid appropriation of election memorabilia, which ended in a capsule collection of dad caps, mugs, lighters and bedroom slippers? Saint Laurent just announced yesterday that it’ll be releasing everything from polaroid cameras to speakers in a collaboration with multi-label store Colette.

The motherlode of fashion merch, though? Sporting equipment. We’re talking ski masks, helmets, surfboards, skateboards, yoga mats, skipping ropes, rackets, basketballs, footballs, ping pong balls and various other balls.

Alexander Wang, ever the champion for athleisure, has yoga mats and boxing gloves to his name. Valentino recently released a Spalding basketball and yoga mat marked with “VLTN”. (We searched high and low for this one.) Louis Vuitton handed out ping-pong bats as welcome gifts at its Cruise 2016 show in Rio. Let’s not forget those Louis Vuitton and Supreme skateboards. Fendi has ski helmets and goggles. Saint Laurent has those 1960s diner skates.

Then, we have Chanel. Ever the one with surprises. Surfboards, tennis rackets, bicycles, footballs, dumbbells, snowboards, skis, exercise balls, boomerangs, visors – in this game, the ball is in Chanel’s court. Hah, sport puns!

The salty eye may – judgemental sounds far too serious here – see such a category of products as the proverbial white elephant. Why get a pair of Chanel ping-pong bats when I can get the classic 2.55 leather bag at the same price, for instance?

At the end of the day, it is a different way of looking at luxury. Like a girl who splurges on her Choos versus her beau who splurges on multiple pairs of Yeezys. With millennials and our – dare I say it – obsession with all things fit, luxury sporting gear makes sense. It courts (ANOTHER SPORT PUN!) the aficionados, yet gives them collectibles that are fully functional. You don’t have to shoot hoops with your Valentino basketball, but you could if you wanted to.

Also, in an age of flatlays and room tours, we millennials also like our Instagram bait. These sporting equipment put the “it” in “bait”. Sure, these things do come with a reasonably hefty price tag and they won’t get as much wear as a pair of shoes, but on the space on your wall where paintings are typically hung? Sure. Forget marble tables – if you’re in pursuit of the unique, this is definitely your game. Plus, these luxury sporting equipment are almost always in very limited quantities. Read: resale value.

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