In the winter of 2014, Ralph Lauren received major backlash for the uniform he had designed for the American Olympic team.
Ralph Lauren described the looks as “classic silhouettes in a timeless palette,” but everyone found something to pick on- while some commented the uniform was very European and didn’t embody Americana, what most people were upset about is they were manufactured in China.
The same controversy erupted in 2008 when Reuters reported that Chinese tailors had a hand in Ralph Lauren’s U.S. uniforms for the Beijing Olympics. Unsurprisingly, the same discussion over American manufacturing and lack of patriotism ensued.
Nanette Lepore, a strong advocate of American-based manufacturing and New York City’s Garment Center,lashed out saying “Why shouldn’t we have pride not only in the American athletes but in the American manufacturers and laborers who are the backbone of our country?”
With the countdown to the 2016 Summer Games in Rio already on – August 5th to be precise. To mark it, the U.S. Olympic Committee and Polo Ralph Lauren, the official outfitter of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic teams, five games running, are today unveiling Team USA’s Closing Ceremony apparel. (The Opening Ceremony uniforms are unveiled closer to the Games.)
While i cant wait to see what he has in mind for the team, I hope he’s learnt his lesson! Do you think it is as big a deal as it was made out to be? Let me know if the comments below!