Did Ralph Lauren Blow it? I have always admired Ralph Lauren and his incredible ability to read the public and provide great options that his customers will love. They all seem to personify the American style. But have you carefully looked at the Olympic uniforms?
Of course, there was the flack about having them manufactured in China. One article I read said it would have added one billion dollars to the US economy. That is with “B”. I have no idea if that is accurate or not but think about it. Our US team proudly marches into the opening ceremony with “Made in China” tags. That is sad.
The style of the uniforms is even more problematic. This country is known for Stetsons, baseball caps, and golf caps just to name a few. Berets? When was the last time you encountered anyone in a beret? Americans are known for blue jeans, khakis, shorts and workout clothes. Double breasted navy blazers with white slacks looks more like a Swiss boarding school. And what’s with the white shirt with the rounded collar? That is certainly not a wardrobe staple. Red, white and blue are about the only elements of these uniforms that say, “America”. But, of course, other countries use those same colors. These uniforms might better announce the entry of the French team in their blu, blanc, rouge.
Our athletes spend years in grueling practice preparing to go to these games. They miss parties, vacations and other activities that are a part of most young people’s formative lives. They will make us proud as we cheer them to medals and heroic efforts. How much more effective it would have been had we chosen “Made in American” and styles that say “Here comes America”.