By Tali Jaffe
The 2012 Summer Olympics is less than two weeks away and we can’t wait any longer to discuss the fabulous Olympic fashion in store for this year’s games. We know it’s all about the athletes, their skills and drive, but they’ve got to looks good while running, jumping and paddling to victory!
A few of our favorite designers are quite literally wearing their national pride on their sleeve by designing uniforms for the Olympic stars. Stella McCartney, Ralph Lauren, Miuccia Prada and Giorgio Armani each designed a collection especially for the games, some of which is available for you stylish sports fans.
We hate to play favorites, but we’re going to have to start with Team USA and the heritage-themed collection Ralph Lauren designed for the Olympic and Paralympic Games. The collection includes official Opening Ceremony and Closing Ceremony parade uniforms, as well as a unique collection of village wear apparel and accessories. Inspired by the 1948 Olympic Games in London, the Ralph Lauren 2012 Olympic Collection presents a mix of authentic reproductions, vintage motifs and modern sporting silhouettes in the iconic color palette of red, white and navy. The collection features reissued heritage pieces from the ‘30s and ‘40s, including fleece warm-ups, a cricket-collar shirt and sweatshirts. An updated 1948 crest pays homage to the year Team USA took home more medals than any other country.
Great Britain may have the home team advantage in more ways than one. Stella McCartney’s collaboration with adidas marks the first time the sport outfitter has teamed with a fashion designer for its Olympic uniforms. For this collection—which is also available at the recently opened first-ever Stella McCartney for adidas store in London—McCartney focused on the British flag, breaking down the Union flag’s iconic design and reconstructing it using her own modern, contemporary twist. Working alongside adidas’ leading technical experts, as well as the athletes themselves, McCartney’s designs are technologically advanced to meet the demands of athletes and also incredibly stylish.
While the uniforms of teams USA and Great Britain are blatantly patriotic, Giorgio Armani’s uniforms for team Italy are a bit more discreet. In fact, the original words to the Italian national anthem are reproduced in gold cursive lettering on the inside of the team jackets and on the underside of the polo shirt collar. Members of the Italian national team will wear EA7 Emporio Armani sportswear and formal wear for the duration of the Olympics, including a kit made up of 50 items, including a carry-on suitcase, tracksuit, nylon jacket, Bermuda shorts, trousers and T-shirts, as well as running and training shoes.
And if one iconic Italian designer wasn’t enough, Prada is also getting into the Olympic spirit (and spotlight) by sponsoring the national sailing team. The brand will be visible not only on the athletes’ uniforms, but also on the hulls and sails of boats and support vessels. Sailing is familiar territory for Prada, as its CEO Patrizio Bertelli is an experienced sailor, and the brand has participated in four America’s Cup campaigns.