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  Annie Leibovitz photographs Buzz Aldrin, Jim Lovell and Sally Ride for Louis Vuitton (Page 1)

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Author Topic:   Annie Leibovitz photographs Buzz Aldrin, Jim Lovell and Sally Ride for Louis Vuitton
Robert Pearlman
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posted 06-01-2009 12:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Louis Vuitton release


Photo credit: Louis Vuitton
Louis Vuitton's Core Values Campaign Celebrates the Greatest Journey of All

With the latest wave of its Core Values advertising campaign, Louis Vuitton commemorates the 40th anniversary of man's conquest of the Moon, elevating the theme of travel as a personal journey to a celebration of a voyage of unsurpassed significance for all mankind.

Louis Vuitton is proud to have brought together three exceptional figures whose own remarkable personal journeys have taken them into space: Buzz Aldrin, who in the course of the historic Apollo 11 mission with Neil Armstrong on 20th and 21st July 1969, became the second man to set foot upon the Moon; Jim Lovell, the commander of the ill-fated Apollo 13 mission in 1970, who - as the world watched with bated breath - heroically guided his crew back to the safety of Earth; and Sally Ride, who in 1983 became the first American woman to venture into space as a crew member on Space Shuttle Challenger.

The new visual, photographed once more by Annie Leibovitz, was shot on the high plateaux of the Californian desert, from where, on a clear night, the Moon takes on an almost supernatural intensity. The three astronauts are portrayed quietly surveying the sky from the battered pickup truck in which they have undertaken this journey together, each no doubt reliving an extraordinary memory. Beside them on the truck is Louis Vuitton's Icare travel bag in Monogram canvas, an allusion to the mythological hero who also dreamed of flight. The tag line, in an echo of Neil Armstrong's famous words in 1969, states: "Some journeys change mankind forever."

Antoine Arnault, Head of Communications at Louis Vuitton, says: "With this latest impressive execution of the award-winning Core Values campaign, Louis Vuitton and its advertising agency Ogilvy & Mather have proved their ability to push the boundaries once again. Space represents the final frontier, and the Moon is the destination beyond which no man has yet travelled."

Simultaneously, in its first integrated press and digital advertising campaign, Louis Vuitton is launching a dedicated website - louisvuittonjourneys.com - on which Buzz Aldrin, Jim Lovell and Sally Ride discuss how the experience of space changed their lives, offering a fascinating insight into Annie Leibovitz's print visual. The site attains a degree of interactivity that is unprecedented for Louis Vuitton, enabling internet users to view the interviews as if they were actually present by, for example, playing them in any order they want, zooming in on an individual astronaut, or viewing the reactions of one astronaut to what another is saying. The interviews, which were filmed with three separate movie cameras to create a strange, gravity-defying ambiance, as if the astronauts were indeed in space, can also be downloaded to a computer, MP3 or mobile phone. Also featured on louisvuittonjourneys.com is a making-of video of the interviews, as well as a focus on The Climate Project, spearheaded by Nobel Peace Prize winner Al Gore, to which Louis Vuitton is making a donation on behalf of the three astronauts.

The new Core Values visual will appear in the July 2009 issues of international titles, while louisvuittonjourneys.com will be launched by a video teaser on 3rd June and will have its worldwide launch on 2nd July.

JPSastro
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posted 06-01-2009 01:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for JPSastro   Click Here to Email JPSastro     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I really like the look and feel of the photo!

Don't care about the bag in the photo, but there is something about the composition and the subject that really grabs ya. I LIKE it!

Mr Meek
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posted 06-01-2009 01:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mr Meek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Neat picture, strange bag.

divemaster
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posted 06-01-2009 01:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for divemaster   Click Here to Email divemaster     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A camera in Annie L's hands is like a paintbrush in Alan Bean's hands. Truly remarkable.

randy
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posted 06-01-2009 02:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for randy   Click Here to Email randy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Cool pic!

ea757grrl
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posted 06-01-2009 02:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ea757grrl   Click Here to Email ea757grrl     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Much as I don't care for hanging advertising on my walls, that would look seriously awesome as a poster. It's absolutely gorgeous, but you'd expect that from Annie.

jodie
(whose best pictures have all been accidental)

Henk Boshuijer
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posted 06-01-2009 02:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Henk Boshuijer   Click Here to Email Henk Boshuijer     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It would be great to have this picture signed by these heroes.

Lou Chinal
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posted 06-01-2009 03:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Lou Chinal   Click Here to Email Lou Chinal     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Robert, going along the lines of what Jodie said, are there any plans to make a poster? You could make a pitch that a few hundred would be sold right here on cS.

garymilgrom
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posted 06-01-2009 04:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for garymilgrom   Click Here to Email garymilgrom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'd be interested in a poster...

Delta7
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posted 06-01-2009 08:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Delta7   Click Here to Email Delta7     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Gemini XII + 1. I like!

AJ
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posted 06-01-2009 09:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for AJ   Click Here to Email AJ     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Wow! In this day and age, I am so used to seeing irrelevant celebrities in advertisements like this. I think it's really cool that LV not only asked them to participate, but that they agreed. It's a beautiful photo and I barely even noticed the bag! All three look so darn cool.

I agree that a poster or even a large sized photo would look awesome.

gliderpilotuk
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posted 06-02-2009 10:31 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for gliderpilotuk   Click Here to Email gliderpilotuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by AJ:
I agree that a poster or even a large sized photo would look awesome.
Provided you could Photoshop out the pretentious bag!

The last one of these adverts I saw featured Mikhail Gorbachev (photo also by AL). Someone had a good sense of irony.

kr4mula
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posted 06-02-2009 11:16 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for kr4mula   Click Here to Email kr4mula     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The technical composition is, of course, excellent. The content composition is a bit more questionable. These three hanging out in the desert on a $50 pickup truck (who rode in back?) with a $1500 duffle bag (I looked it up)? Sure.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 06-02-2009 11:28 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Norwegian HotBlog.no has a few behind the scenes shots, including this one:

AJ
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posted 06-02-2009 11:52 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for AJ   Click Here to Email AJ     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by kr4mula:
These three hanging out in the desert on a $50 pickup truck (who rode in back?) with a $1500 duffle bag (I looked it up)? Sure.
I've got it: Sally drove, windows down, and Buzz and Lovell rode standing up in the back, competing to see who'd be the first to chicken out and sit down.

I actually think the content is neat. There are binoculars and what look to be maps in the bag. Combined with beautiful scenery, I think it's a nice image of three explorers and adventurers.

spacecraft films
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posted 06-02-2009 12:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for spacecraft films   Click Here to Email spacecraft films     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I just wonder, if they don't have some copy to tell them, if most people will know who they are.

randy
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posted 06-02-2009 01:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for randy   Click Here to Email randy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I seriously doubt they would.

albatron
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posted 06-02-2009 03:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for albatron   Click Here to Email albatron     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Sally Ride? Unless they needed a female of course, comparatively she's out of her league with Buzz and Lovell.

Eileen Collins would be a much better example for an American female in space.

But hey, that's just me.

AJ
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posted 06-02-2009 04:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for AJ   Click Here to Email AJ     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Unfortunately, I don't think most of the American public would recognize Sally or Eileen. And there are probably going to be people saying, 'Who are these old guys?' however, LV always captions the ads.

Or maybe you're just trying to start a debate on who is most worthy?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 06-02-2009 04:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Going by name recognition only, I believe that Sally Ride is as well known as the two others pictured.

There are only five astronauts who I would say are (U.S.) household names, assuming the household knows any astronauts at all: Neil Armstrong, John Glenn, Buzz Aldrin, Jim Lovell and Sally Ride.

If the target audience of the ad isn't going to recognize the faces pictured -- and the majority surely won't -- then the names listed in the caption need to pop. Sally Ride pops.

(As one data point for this, I point you to Billy Joel's "We Didn't Start the Fire", which refers to only two astronauts by name: John Glenn and Sally Ride. Even Neil Armstrong is reduced to an anonymous mention under the term "Moonshot".)

ea757grrl
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posted 06-02-2009 07:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ea757grrl   Click Here to Email ea757grrl     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'd also add that Sally Ride has done national advertisements before. The one that most readily comes to mind was for one of the office supply store chains, whose sales theme had to do with "experts" making their service better. The setting was a grade school with a little boy being asked who was the first American woman in space and Dr. Ride was there to give the answer.

Stinger (and the only reason I remember the commercial): At the end of the commercial, a mother asked Dr. Ride if she wanted a ride home in her minivan. Dr. Ride replied, "I'll take the shuttle." (Viewers had to supply their own rimshot.)

DavidH
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posted 06-03-2009 02:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for DavidH   Click Here to Email DavidH     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My favorite thing about the picture -- Three astronauts are looking at the moon. One has a huge smile on his face. Guess how he's different from the other two...

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"America's challenge of today has forged man's destiny of tomorrow." - Commander Eugene Cernan, Apollo 17 Mission, 11 December 1972

FFrench
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posted 06-03-2009 03:19 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for FFrench     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
Going by name recognition only, I believe that Sally Ride is as well known as the two others pictured.

Based on my science educating experience with the under-25 audience, I would say even more so.

If you ask them to complete the name of an astronaut called Sally, they will say "Sally Ride."

Try it with Buzz... you get "Lightyear."

They know the character of Jim Lovell from the Apollo 13 movie, but not the name - he's "the guy that Tom Hanks played."

Robert Pearlman
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posted 06-03-2009 08:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

AJ
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posted 06-03-2009 08:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for AJ   Click Here to Email AJ     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I adore hearing Buzz say, (re: Lovell saying "why me?") "It should've been Al Shepard!"

That's classic.

mjanovec
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posted 06-04-2009 12:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mjanovec   Click Here to Email mjanovec     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by DavidH:
My favorite thing about the picture -- Three astronauts are looking at the moon.

Then they're looking in the wrong direction! If they were looking at the Photoshopped "moon" in this photo, we'd be seeing the backs of their heads.

Actually, I have trouble calling this a "photograph." To me, it's more or less a fabricated piece of artwork that employs several photographs as the basis for final creation. While the end result is somewhat neat (except for that hideous-looking bag), this is less about true photography and more about using Photoshop (or similar software) to create a simulated photograph. Like most advertisements, what you're looking at here is not reality.

AJ
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posted 06-04-2009 12:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for AJ   Click Here to Email AJ     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A LOT of Leibovitz's photos are like that nowadays. She's a talented photographer, but in recent years much of her magazine work and advertising (for LV and Disney) has been highly photoshopped, which I sincerely doubt she does herself and it makes me wonder how much of the design and style is even her idea. I still like it, because it is a cool image, but...

canyon42
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posted 06-06-2009 06:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for canyon42   Click Here to Email canyon42     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From a "photo" point of view, I have to admit that it bugs the snot out of me that the shadows are completely wrong (along with the aforementioned fact that they are NOT looking at the moon). With the moon where it is, the sides of their faces we can see should be in darkness, not lit up. Grrr. Yeah, it's an interesting illustration, but a photo? Nope.

Of course, I'm the type who gets grumpy over this sort of thing, so take that for what it's worth.

JPSastro
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posted 06-06-2009 10:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for JPSastro   Click Here to Email JPSastro     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Well it is what is called "creative advertising".

I feel the same way about the way Apollo 13 the movie and From Earth To The Moon mini series were done with more than a "wee bit of CREATIVE License" Neither movie were 100% the "real story". So they can do the same with the ad. If you see them from their backs then it could be anyone... JUST an ad... But I really like it... The teaser trailer is great, too.

chappy
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posted 06-07-2009 11:20 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for chappy   Click Here to Email chappy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That a superb pic of these three well-known astronauts gazing through the night sky. I would definitely go for a poster of this superb picture, if they are up and out for sale.
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
There are only five astronauts who I would say are (U.S.) household names, assuming the household knows any astronauts at all: Neil Armstrong, John Glenn, Buzz Aldrin, Jim Lovell and Sally Ride.
Yeah, I agree with Neil Armstrong, John Glenn, Sally Ride, James Lovell, Edwin Aldrin. I believe John Young should be mentioned as household name too, cause he serves over 40 years spanning from Gemini to shuttle. I'm sure that fellow cS agrees with this... he's an unique astronaut.

Delta7
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posted 06-07-2009 12:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Delta7   Click Here to Email Delta7     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I find a lot of people know the name Hoot Gibson as well, probably because it's catchy and easy to remember. A lot also remember last names like Carpenter, Cooper and Crippen, but mix up the first name. ("Didn't Neil Carpenter and Deke Crippen land the Shuttle on the moon?")

Rob Joyner
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posted 06-07-2009 12:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rob Joyner   Click Here to Email Rob Joyner     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by mjanovec:
Then they're looking in the wrong direction! If they were looking at the Photoshopped "moon" in this photo, we'd be seeing the backs of their heads.
Exactly. That was the first thing I noticed. My first thought was, "What are they looking at?!" Even the name Leibovitz doesn't save this badly composed photoshopped ad. I wonder if Lovell, Aldrin or Ride saw the final ad and had issues with this?

As far as the general public recognizing the three astronauts goes, without their names in or on the ad somewhere I would expect only a very small percentage of the public would know who they are. They may know their names, but not their faces, especially in profile. In fact, I think that if Neil and Buzz were to do a frontal close-up face ad for a product that also has nothing to do with spaceflight that only a slightly larger percentage of the public could name them.

The only thing this ad does for me is that it reminds me that some handbags are way too expensive, and that there's a lot of money changing hands in the elite 'fashion' industry.

What's next? Glenn staring up longingly from his desk at his Friendship 7 launch photo on the wall while wearing a logo-prominent polo shirt?

Yecch!

albatron
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posted 06-07-2009 04:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for albatron   Click Here to Email albatron     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I think most professional photographers here would have a lot of issues with the finalized product. I've been familiar with Annie's work for some time. To call her a photographer is a stretch, to call her an artist would be more like it. In her case, a camera is a tool as opposed to a paintbrush.

Further Rob's point of people seeing these images and not knowing who they are is more the point I was trying to make (poorly) before.

But then I'm one of those silly ones who feels accomplishment is more important than name recognition. Just because we promote ourselves doesn't mean we are the most accomplished. In fact one of them made a remark on the video that to me, confirms my feelings.

And it's not Buzz.

Rizz
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posted 06-07-2009 11:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rizz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Louis Vuitton is proud to have brought together three exceptional figures whose own remarkable personal journeys have taken them into space.
That's where they are gazing, up into space.

I think its a brilliant piece of work. She captured a moment in time. That's what a 'good' photographer does, and she's quite good at it.

Photoshop, et al is just fluff, it's the expressions that lure you into the ad.

AJ
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posted 06-08-2009 12:18 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for AJ   Click Here to Email AJ     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I would agree with you, up to a point. Photoshop can be "fluff" but in the case of this photo, I don't believe that's so. The photo looks the way it does not because of her being an artist (and mind you, I actually do like the image) but thanks to Photoshop. Did you see the photo from the set? Nice, bright sunny day. Absolutely everything in the photo has been altered, down to the lighting on their faces. None of that is real. does that mean it's not art? No. (Let's not get started on modern art!) But I don't for a minute believe that that image is all thanks to Leibovitz being a great photographer. Cartier-Bresson was a great photographer. So were Margaret Bourke-White and Edward Weston and there are some great contemporary photographers. I just don't think that this image is one I would use to say that she is a great photographer (even though a lot of her unaltered work is very good).

kr4mula
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posted 06-08-2009 10:52 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for kr4mula   Click Here to Email kr4mula     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
For those who want to see the ad in print, I discovered it on page 3-4 (I think) of the July issue of "Esquire." The next two pages are an ad for the new Breitling, for you watch lovers.

Paul78zephyr
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posted 06-12-2009 09:52 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul78zephyr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by DavidH:
My favorite thing about the picture -- Three astronauts are looking at the moon. One has a huge smile on his face. Guess how he's different from the other two...
They are all different:
  • Only one rode in the space shuttle.
  • Only one walked on the moon.
  • Only one has been to the moon twice.

Paul78zephyr
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posted 06-12-2009 09:57 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul78zephyr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by chappy:
Edwin Aldrin
Who is Edwin Aldrin?

AJ
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posted 06-13-2009 11:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for AJ   Click Here to Email AJ     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just saw the ad in print for the first time, in the July issue of Vanity Fair (the lovely Johnny Depp is on the cover). Interestingly enough, this is the caption:
Sally Ride, first American woman in space. Buzz Aldrin, Apollo 11, first steps on the moon in 1969. Jim Lovell, Apollo 13, commander.
How many people might think Buzz was the first to walk on the moon, after reading that? (I would hope they'd already know otherwise, but...)

Also, two pages later: a very nice ad for the Omega Speedmaster Apollo 11 40th anniversary watch, featuring a large b&w photo of JFK, with info about Omega and the JFK library.

jamato99
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posted 06-14-2009 02:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for jamato99   Click Here to Email jamato99     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The fact that so many responses have been generated by this ad means the ad is doing it's job. I'm sure all three astronauts were well-compensated for their time, so I'm not sure they're all that concerned with how the photo turned out.

The first thing I noticed was that all three are looking off to the side, rather than at the moon as the photo is likely to suggest. Second, I found the Ride-Aldrin-Lovell combination to be a bit strange. Lastly, Sally Ride might be a Louis Vuitton patron, but I feel like Aldrin and Lovell were very odd choices to represent that product line.


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