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The story behind the most expensive punching bag

Nadja Beschetnikova
February 16, 2018

At first sight, it is rather difficult to bring box and fashion in connection. In the middle of a fight, with blood on a face and sweat on a body, one could not care less about stylish appearance.

Although outside the ring, many boxers became if not fashion icons but examples of well-dressed gentlemen.

Back in the '90s, at the peak of his boxing career, Mike Tyson was a huge fan of the luxury clothing, wrapping his muscles in the poshest pieces from Versace and other designer labels. Since retiring from boxing, the Iron Mike has launched a range of t-shirts, hoodies, beanies and tank tops. From time to time he was spotted at LA fashion week or on a shopping tour through Italian fashion capital. In Milan, accompanied by a group of bodyguards, Tyson browsed a string of high-end boutiques.

Another boxing legend, Muhammad Ali, was known for his ability to move away from his opponent in a very graceful manner. Ali’s footwork and his movement had almost some touch of the ballet technique.
But the great boxer stayed elegant outside the boxing ring too. His custom-tailored suits, bow-ties, stylish blazers and bowler hats made him look like a true gentleman, which was his deepest desire.

“He always presented himself in this smart, clean way, both to distance himself from the heritage of boxing, which had been pretty sleazy up to then. He wanted to present himself as the opposite of a thug, and his well-cut suits and the attention to detail in his dress was a crucial element in that image,” recalled the Life magazine photographer Gordon Parks.

Though modern boxers try to smuggle fashionable vibes into the boxing ring too. The uniform for fights is becoming more inventive today. Just let’s remember the iconic Roman Gladiator costume worn by Hector «Macho» Camacho during the fight against Ray Leonard back in 1997, or Antonio Tarver's sparkling purple robe, which perfectly matched his nickname of the «magic Man» in 2003.

But the boxing equipment itself was actually never considered a luxurious item. Except for authentic belongings of famous fighters of course.
Two pairs of boxing gloves from historic Muhammad Ali fights each brought $385,848. They set record prices for the most valuable boxing memorabilia ever sold. 

So you may wonder, who would have had to slap a punching bag which is sold for $175,000? Well, the time has changed. Nowadays, apparently, it doesn’t matter who sweated for a new boxing achievement. The question is who designed the equipment.

A creation, covered with the iconic Louis Vuitton monogram from top to toe and designed by Karl Lagerfeld, became the most expensive punching bag ever.

When you see these two names together you may expect an over-average price, but it’s really funny when you try to imagine someone punching the $175,000 monogrammed Louis Vuitton leather bag. 

Who would be the target customer? A frustrated multimillionaire, grievously suffering in his luxurious mansion, because another multimillionaire outbid him in some private islands auction? Though we can imagine one of the 25 punching bags hanging in Floyd Mayweather’s practice room too.

The limited edition collection was a part of the brand’s Celebrating Monogram project and its 118th year anniversary back in 2014. For this project Louis Vuitton collaborated with some high-profile designers, e.g Christian Louboutin created a $23,000 shopping trolley.

To invite Karl Lagerfeld is definitely a good idea whenever you want to produce an extraordinaire remarkable and hardly affordable thing everyone will be talking about.

On the Louis Vuitton website, the German designer was described as a person who, "possesses an unerring knack for capturing the air du temps and distilling it into objects of desire."

Reportedly it took between six and 12 months to manufacture each set, so maybe that’s an explanation why only 25 pieces came to the market.
Each set included also a monogrammed mat, a stand, and a pair of boxing gloves. The full-size bag features golden-brass hardware.

The bag is packed in the embossed massive traveling trunk, which can be additionally used as a chic travel closet, while a separate suitcase holds boxing gloves and a mat.  

Speaking about the trunk, the designer said, “It is a huge toy for spoilt, grown-up people!”

For those who are not into sport, but don’t mind a knock-out style, there’re three regular-size handbags cleverly modeled after the punching bag that are ready for everyday use.

If you do want some collector items for your fitness room to make your workouts more fashionable, but you have a limited budget, set sights on Supreme x Everlast collaboration. Two brands teamed up to drop a punching bag for Supreme’s SS16 accessories collection.

Supreme is known for boxing references since its founder James Jebbia has always been a boxing fan and worshipped Muhammad Ali. From the early years, the imagery of the great boxer regularly appeared on the Supreme’s t-shirts.

The high-grade leather bag provides long-lasting durability and functionality. Specially blended filler provides resilient shock absorbency and comes with triple reinforced ring tabs to ensure maximum toughness at the top of the heavy bag. The original price was $10,000, but now you can purchase it half-price if you trust online retailers.