They’re patriotic, cozy, cute, stylish, practical and warm. Annnnnd…(this is a big "and") they’re all made in the USA. We’re talking Ralph Lauren’s closing ceremony parade uniforms along with casual village wear for American athletes participating in the 2014 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia which were unveiled earlier this week.
You might remember the huge hubbub during the 2012 games in London, when the word got out that much of the American athletes’ ceremonial uniforms produced by the designer, were made overseas, including in China.
The powers at Ralph Lauren took note. “We have worked incredibly hard as a company to go across America to find the best partners to help us produce the Olympic uniforms at the highest quality for the best athletes in the world,” David Lauren, Ralph Lauren Corp.’s executive vice president of advertising, marketing and corporate communications, told the Associated Press.
To that end, the company used some 40 American vendors including ranchers in the rural West, yarn spinners in Pennsylvania and seamstresses in the New York Garment District to produce the ensembles.
The uniform for men and women include wool turtlenecks with Nordic inspired reindeer and snowflake motifs and a navy wool pea coat adorned with a red banner stripe and patriotic patches. Cream slim-fit fleece athletic pants and sporty black leather boots with red laces complete the looks..
Figure skater and 2010 gold medalist Evan Lysacek told the AP that the clothes are quite important to the people who wear them. “As an athlete, the clothing means even more than you’d think. The training, the sacrifices, the lifestyle which is not glamorous and can be grueling and trying at times, all seem to come together the moment when you realize you are part of the Olympic team,” he said. “The moment you put on those first pieces of the American team clothes, you feel like it’s real.”
Want to show your Olympic colors too? The Ralph Lauren 2014 Team USA collection will be available beginning November 15th on RalphLauren.com and TeamUSAShop.com. In December the collection will be available at select Ralph Lauren retail stores and select U.S. department stores.