The Olympics are most often associated with medals and new world records, but this summer the games will also be known for the designer outfits the athletes will be showcasing. By now, almost everyone has heard of the uproar over Team USA’s opening ceremony outfits by Ralph Lauren being made in china and Stella McCartney’s foray into crafting Team Britain's ensembles. Other high-end designers are getting into the act, though, including Giorgio Armani, Ermanno Scervino, Salvatore Ferragamo, and Prada. Brands like Hudson's Bay Company along with Rodd & Gunn are also showing off some team spirit. Here’s an outfit overview of the London 2012 Summer Olympics.
Ralph Lauren (USA)
Ralph Lauren’s official apparel for the games has garnered a few headlines. When the recent images were released, a lot of criticism was directed toward the seemingly French-inspired berets the athletes would sport in addition to blue blazers, printed neck scarves, white dresses, and crisp trousers.
Stella McCartney for Adidas (Britian)
While the British designer is really only responsible for her country’s performance and village wear, Stella McCartney’s gear has received a pretty underwhelming reception. English firm Next will actually be dressing the athletes for the opening ceremony, but those ensembles will reportedly not be unveiled until this Friday.
Giorgio Armani (Italy)
There was a notable lack of bright colors when Giorgio Armani presented Italy’s Olympic designs, which are part of the EA7 Emporio Armani line. Dark blue and white appeared to dominate in the form of nylon jackets, vests, shorts, and specially-designed training shoes.
Prada hopped onboard to design the competition uniforms for Italy’s sailing team. These sketches show the sleek creations in a rich sea blue color with white contrasts and red accents all the way down to the sneakers.
Salvatore Ferragamo (Republic of San Marino)
Salvatore Ferragamo is the surprising supplier of the uniforms for the Republic of San Marino. San Marino athletes have the distinct pleasure of wearing the fashion house’s fare for the opening ceremony, which consists of items equally capable of impressing individually from those sophisticated trenches to that cashmere sweater and the tailored cotton pants.
Ermanno Scervino (Republic of Azerbaijan)
In another unexpected designer pairing, Italian label Ermanno Scervino created the apparel for the Republic of Azerbaijan. The republic’s colorful flag was incorporated into the designs that boldly emblazon the warm up suits as well as the silk twill neck scarves and pocket squares of the opening ceremony uniforms.
Bogner has a long history of outfitting Germany’s athletes for the winter games, and now the Munich label has expanded to the summer ceremonies. The perfectly pink and soft blue jackets the German team will wear are actually reversible with a hidden ability to transform into more formal navy blazers.
Cedella Marley for Puma (Jamaica)
Bob Marley’s daughter, Cedella Marley, is the designer behind Jamaica’s green, gold, and black uniforms. Female athletes will certainly stand out in this military-style structured jacket combined with a leaf-print skirt, while the guys will grab attention in these bright yellow trousers and green short sleeve shirts.
Rodd & Gunn (New Zealand)
Rodd & Gunn managed to produce some pretty stylish pieces for New Zealand’s athletes reportedly inspired by the ensembles worn by the 1948 New Zealand Olympic team. The women’s uniform is especially enticing with its patterned dress layered under a black blazer with distinctive white piping.
Hudson's Bay Company (Canada)
Team Canada has perhaps the most commercial-friendly attire. Hudson's Bay Company incorporated iconic imagery like the ever-present maple leaf and relied on various patches as well as colorblocking to guarantee the pieces will maintain popularity long after the closing ceremonies.