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Team USA’s new Olympic uniforms revealed


By Alex Rees, CNN

(CNN) — Since 2008, Ralph Lauren has outfitted Team USA at nine consecutive Olympics and Paralympics, designing uniforms for athletes to wear at opening and closing ceremonies as well as a broader capsule wardrobe for their use during and after the Games.

And for this summer’s Olympics, the brand is bringing its quintessential take on Americana and preppy athleisure to Paris, the fashion capital of the world — the new collection “draws inspiration from the dynamic and vibrant host city,” a statement from the brand reads, “and embraces a patriotic spirit reflected in a signature palette of red, white and blue.”

“We’re so proud to dress Team USA,” David Lauren, Ralph Lauren’s chief branding and innovation officer, told CNN at a preview of the collection on Monday. “We worked very closely with the athletes, with the Olympic Committee, to create (a collection) we think tells a story about America.”

“We want the athletes to walk out on a global stage feeling like they are ambassadors of American culture, American leadership and American sportsmanship. I think that Ralph Lauren is able to understand that ethos and bring it to life,” Lauren continued.

“And that’s the dream — that is the American dream for us at Ralph Lauren and for everybody watching.”

Flying the flag for American fashion

At the opening ceremony, which will see Olympians traveling down the River Seine on boats towards the city’s famed Trocadéro, Team USA athletes will wear a classic navy Ralph Lauren blazer with red and white detailing, paired with a striped Oxford shirt, navy knit tie, and tapered light denim jeans.

Denim is also a prominent feature in the closing ceremony ensembles. For this occasion, Ralph Lauren designed a racecar-style jacket with USA patch detailing, a a classic striped polo and crisp white jeans.

“I think this collection in its entirety does a really good job of combining classic American style with a little bit more of that contemporary feel,” Paralympic swimmer Jamal Hill, a bronze medal-winner at the 2020 Tokyo Games, told CNN. “I’m wearing this to the all-white party,” he noted, with a laugh, of the closing ceremony look in particular, adding, “my only regret is that when I come home, the season for all-white will be almost over.”

The athletes honored as Team USA’s flag bearers at the opening and closing ceremonies will receive versions of these looks in different colorways to help them stand out in the crowds. Beyond this, athletes will also receive pieces from a special, commemorative “Villagewear” collection. Named in reference to the Athletes’ Village, the clothing line (which will be available to purchase) will feature version of classic Ralph Lauren pieces — jackets and sweaters, rugby shirts, knits, joggers, color-blocked tees and much more. In a first for the brand, this year there is also a “100% recycled” polo shirt in the mix.

“Ralph Lauren has once again created designs that not only capture the essence of American style but also embody the spirit and pride of Team USA,” Sarah Hirshland, CEO of the US Olympic & Paralympic Committee, said in a statement. “This iconic apparel serves as a symbol of unity and inspiration for both our team and the millions of fans who will be cheering them on.”

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