Yorgo Tloupas, 8 December 2011, 09:59 AM
To make a long story short, I discovered bike polo in NYC in late 2005, then motivated friends to start playing in London and Paris the following year, and have watched the scene grow exponentially since. In 2008 we did a bike polo vs horse polo fashion story in Intersection – see it here – and a short film which we showed at the BFF.
Cut to summer 2011, as we’re invited by our friends at Louis Vuitton to visit their Paris offices for a surprise. And what a surprise it was… They first showed us moodboards with images extracted from our bike polo fashion story, then revealed to us what they had been developing: a polo bike and a mallet. They collaborated with friends and fellow players Hannes Hengst and Grégory Barbier to manufacture an intricate and refined collection of parts. From the embossed leather pedal straps and mallet holders, to the machined chainring (by Victoire), etched barplugs, via the leather wheel cover, culminating with a spectacular hollowed out mallet head, attached to a fully wrapped shaft. All of it using the classic Vuitton patterns and shapes. I was a bit surprised to see that they decided to go for a fixed gear brakeless setup, since 99% of players now ride freewheel bikes, but beyond that was impressed by the attention to detail and the build quality.
Louis Vuitton wanted us to be the first ones to shoot this, so we did… With behind the lens my teammate and 2010 French Bike Polo Champion Louis David Najar, and on the bike the rising star player Benjamin Nogues. The images are out in the current issue of Intersection Magazine France, see some of them here: