They said/We said: The London 2012 Olympics are becoming a sartorial battleground, with Stella, Prada, Ralph and the Bay all designing uniforms

Forget sports! It seems the London 2012 Olympics will be an international battleground of the sartorial sort after Prada announced today it would be designing the Italian sailing team’s uniforms. The all-blue, slim-fitting uniforms will feature prominent Prada logos on the sleeves.

The news is merely another drop in the ocean of Olympic haute wears. The USA once again hired Ralph Lauren to design its 2012 collection. This year the designer took a decidedly traditional turn with abundant whites and preppy polos (though with some unforgivable popped collars). Stella McCartney’s hotly debated collection for the UK has been receiving some serious media attention including complaints that it’s “too blue” and “won’t look good on out of shape soccer fans.” And then there’s Giorgio Armani, whose sportswear diffusion line, Emporio Armani EA7, promises to inspire its athletes in its latest video.

All things aside, this is all starting to sound a lot like Paris Fashion Week. But with the Olympics’ incredible viewership (it’s estimated to be around 4 billion people) and its serious commercial potential, it’s no wonder these designers want to put their name on a tracksuit.

So where does Canada fit into all of this? The Hudson’s Bay Company has created patched denim jackets (Olympic Canadian Tuxedo anyone?) and a wide variety of sweaters, tees and jackets. It’s a casual collection to be sure, but a definite commercial hit.

Who will reign supreme on the catwalk in the opening ceremonies? Only time will tell. But for now, we just hope this move towards designer uniforms means we’ll never have to see another one of those backwards Poorboy caps again.


Fashion Foie Gras: “Whoever said there wouldn’t be fashion news to report while the Olympics is in action is surely regretting such statements at this point!” [Fashion Foie Gras]

Yahoo! News: “The upcoming Olympics look set to be one of the most stylish yet” [Yahoo! News]


Jacquelyn Francis, executive editor: “The Olympics is a rare opportunity in this global world to show some patriotism. It’s hard not to be intrigued by fashion designers who get behind their national team. Ralph Lauren is quintessential America, the HBC red mitts from Vancouver almost iconic. But let’s not forget there is great potential for exposure, branding and income in creating an Olympic uniform. It’s not all altruism and, go team, go! It’s good business too.”

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