SK8ER BOI: Dior is beefing up the ranks of its brand ambassadors with another Olympic hopeful. The French luxury brand said Wednesday it has signed champion skateboarder Aurélien Giraud, who is vying to take home a gold medal at the Paris Olympics.
“Audacious, creative and spontaneous, the multi award-winning world champion — and contender for the Olympic Games Paris 2024 — henceforth embodies the spirit of Dior style, where sportswear, heritage and reinvention converge,” the brand said in a statement.
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The 26-year-old from Lyon, who started skateboarding at the age of four, was world champion in 2022 and came sixth at the Tokyo 2020 Games, which marked skateboarding’s Olympic debut.
“I was really, really disappointed. I had started off really well and finished first in the qualifications round. I was all set to win gold and unfortunately, I didn’t do well in my final. An old knee injury caught up with me, so we’ve made sure the same thing doesn’t happen again in Paris in order to win the gold, ideally, but at the minimum walk away with a medal. That’s the goal,” Giraud told WWD ahead of the Dior men’s show in Paris in January.
Wearing a shearling-lined bomber jacket, white turtleneck sweatshirt and baggy jeans, he said he was a longtime fan of Dior menswear designer Kim Jones. “To me, Dior represents French elegance,” he said. “Kim Jones is doing an insane job. I’m a huge fan of everything he does and what it represents. It’s long been my favorite luxury brand.”
While Giraud enjoys bringing some swag to the skate park, he’s learned to balance form and function. “It’s important to feel good and to give a glimpse of your personality,” he said. “But growing up, knowing what I know now, I would opt for a mix between comfort and style.”
Don’t expect him to rock a pair of Dior’s super chunky Skater B9S sneakers on the job. Giraud’s sponsor in that department is skateboard footwear specialist Etnies. During the Games, he will wear the official uniforms designed by Stéphane Ashpool and manufactured by French athleticwear brand Le Coq Sportif.
Still, he has plenty of time to make a statement between now and the opening ceremony on July 26, when the French teams will walk out dressed in Berluti, which like Dior is owned by luxury conglomerate LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton.
Up next is the Paris leg of the Street League Skateboarding tour on Feb. 24.
“Then I head to Dubai in early March, then Shanghai in May and Budapest in June and after that, the Olympics,” said Giraud, who is currently ranked third in the Olympic World Skateboarding Rankings maintained by World Skate, the governing body for skateboarding and roller sports.
While the qualifying period ends on June 23, he was confident of making the cut. In the meantime, he’ll focus on strengthening his lower body for competition.
“Our physical training focuses on muscle strengthening. We strengthen the ankles in order to limit injuries. Finally, we strengthen the legs as much as possible. We also do a lot of core training, but we don’t really do much on the pectoral area because it’s not useful in our sport, and it can even be restrictive,” Giraud explained.
The skateboarder joins surfer Kauli Vaast, gymnast Mélanie de Jesus dos Santos and wheelchair tennis player Pauline Déroulède among the ranks of athletes recruited by Dior in the run-up to the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
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