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News: flaming Team USA Olympic outfits made in China

July 16, 2012

The Team USA Olympic uniforms modeled by US swimmer Ryan Lochte, decathlete Bryan Clay, rower Giuseppe Lanzone, and soccer player Heather Mitts

We sometimes like to poke fun at blips and flops in the industry but unfortunately this bit o’ news isn’t really all that amusing: the United States of America’s Olympic Team uniforms were made in China. As US Senator Harry Reid commented last Thursday, “I think they should take all the uniforms, put them in a big pile and burn them and start all over again,” to which The Cut added, “(And then presumably sit around the fire drinking Budweiser, roasting s’mores, and gleefully watching the berets crackle.)

Apparently it’s too late for that (starting over, that is), and the story surrounding the uniforms is getting hotter than a polyester A-line skirt well below the knee worn with white socks and white nerd shoes:

This is just so not cool, especially hers

Okay, so that really wasn’t all that hard.

What first started as the Team USA uniform story’s designer appeal – Ralph Lauren designed the separates and gave the team a nice beret topper that was somewhat unexpected and much talked about. Does anyone like the look? The clean white pants, navy double-breasted blazers and diagonally-striped ties on white shirts does reflect Lauren’s penchant for polo club wear and sailor outfits. For her, we have the option of a skirt paired with a two-button blazer and striped scarf. Are you asleep reading this? (We enjoyed a short nap, ourselves.)

If this didn’t come off-rack, then it’s pure waste since there’s nothing new here. The designer’s signature polo logo is in stark white so as not to be missed for all those photo ops- but yes, we’re very much in a logo-as-print decade, so that’s no surprise either.

With no surprises, there was really just the beret to go after for comment, which can be summed up as: a beret! And, we’re done.

Since the uniform’s clean lines and squeaky-clean look lacks all originality and design/fit appeal, saying that the USA Team looks nice is being polite. At least it outfits the Team for a job selling train tickets at the station when sponsor funding runs out after the Games.

As for the made in China situation- are we really surprised? No, because manufacturing is largely off-shore, but it is a touch embarrassing for Lauren and the US Olympic Committee who made the decision. To massage this unfortunate public relations disaster, they have now canceled the uniform bonfire and revised plans for manufacturing Team USA’s 2014 Olympic Winter Games Opening and Closing Ceremonies apparel on US soil.

Image courtesy of US Olympic Committee.

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