The USA olympic team designed by Ralph Lauren was unveild this week and has caused quite a stir.
“From the bizarre placement of a crowned heraldic lion on neckties and buttons, to French-inspired blue berets that were made in China, the uniforms have generated both buzz and confusion.
And then there’s the issue of the Ralph Lauren “Polo Pony” logo, which is prominent throughout the collection, at times larger than the American flag and or Team USA crest. Polo isn’t even an Olympic event.
For the opening ceremonies in London later this month, the American men will wear navy blue blazers with the Olympic team patch, along with a red and navy tie, and cream-colored flat-front pants. Women will pair the blazers with scarves with red, white and blue stripes, and a knee-length cream-colored skirt. The entire outfit rings in at well over $1,000.
“I didn’t realize the American Dream involved a flight attendant’s uniform,” quipped Californian Twitter user @solcelo.
The official Olympic Ralph Lauren collection also includes T-shirts with a big Union Jack on the front and “2012 Team USA” printed under the flag, and polo shirts with the team logo on one side, an oversized Ralph Lauren Polo Pony on the other, and a British flag embroidered on the back.
“We’re still cheering for the U.S.,” a saleswoman at a New York Ralph Lauren store explained when asked about the British influences. “It’s just that the Olympics are in London.”
At the 2002 Winter Games, the U.S. team wore powder blue berets that quickly sold out at stores around Salt Lake City. This year the American team will again sport berets. The 2012 version, which retails for $55, is navy blue and features the Team USA logo on the front, red and white stripes to the left, and a red Ralph Lauren Polo Pony logo on the back.
“Apparently, the official U.S. Olympic uniform is to dress like the French. Beret included,” Dave Morgan of Rochester, N.Y., commented on Twitter.
Team USA marketing manager Vanessa Virbitsky wouldn’t say how much Ralph Lauren paid to be Team USA’s tailor, but she said “a portion of all the sales do go to Team USA.”
She declined to say how much of the proceeds were earmarked for the athletes.
The U.S. isn’t the only team donning designer threads at this year’s games: Jamaica is wearing Puma designs from Bob Marley’s daughter, Cedella Marley, and Britain’s Olympians are wearing Adidas by Stella McCartney.”