Boxing legend Muhammad Ali, who constantly reminded the world of how “pretty” he was, is now using his good looks to promote high fashion for a Louis Vuitton ad and has brought his adorable little grandson along for the ride.
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Ali and his spitting-image grandchild 3-year-old Curtis Muhammad Conway Jr. will appear in the high-end designer Louis Vuitton‘s latest brand, Core Values. The campaign’s print ads, featuring the 70-year-old, will run in 60 countries. Previously, the luxury accessories manufacturer has featured the likes of such luminaries as Russian ballet dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov, former astronaut Buzz Aldrin, and soccer great Pelé.
Ali is pictured with Curtis in the idyllic setting of his backyard at his Phoenix, Arizona, home. Ali is photographed sitting with the $1,525 Louis Vuitton “Keepall 50″ at his feet. Curtis, who looks like a little pugilist on a mission, is striking a serious pose as he dons boxing gloves.
“The Greatest,” who began his career as an Olympic Gold Medal winner in 1960 and who went on to become a three-time World Heavyweight Champion, was one of the few boxers in history who was loved and vilified at the same time. Known for his pre-fight hype, Ali was a master at trash talking his opponents with rhymes to incite them.
After an over 20-year boxing career, Ali announced his retirement in 1979. At that point, Ali had lost only three times in 59 fights, but he returned to fight World Boxing Council Champion Larry Holmes in 1980 and Trevor Berbick of Canada in 1981, losing both bouts. Ali then retired permanently.
In 1984, rumors began swirling that Ali looked ill. Many assumed that he had developed a series of symptoms variously known as “punch drunk” syndrome or chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a degenerative brain disorder that is common in boxers, but Ali had in fact developed Parkinson’s disease, an illness of the central nervous system.
Despite the debilitating progression of his illness, Ali’s fighting spirit is still intact and the civil rights activist, antiwar protestor, and man of peace is still enjoying his life and it shows.
The campaign, which was captured by the lens of the world-renowned photographer Annie Leibovitz, is set to launch on June 14.
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