In less than a week, sports and fashion will meet on the grand stage. Athletes will proudly march on behalf of their countries to start the London Olympic Games. Before the competition begins, they will go for gold on the fashion front with their national refinery on full display. Top designers like Ralph Lauren, Stella McCartney, Giorgio Armani, Prada and Cedella Marley are among those who have been tapped to create team kits.
The Opening Ceremony’s Parade of Nations is an international sartorial showcase, often full of winning looks and fashion faux pas. Uniforms are meant to express a team’s identity but some designs have already been marred by fashion controversy. By now fans are familiar with Team USA’s Ralph Lauren fashions and the “made in China” debacle that followed. And Team GB supporters were critical of McCartney’s Olympic uniforms and her interpretation of the English flag.
Despite these fashion hiccups, Giorgio Armani has already dubbed London as “the most fashionable Olympic Games ever.” Only time will tell if this holds true. For now, here are some of the colorful designs from around the globe that we can expect to see during the upcoming Summer Olympic Games:
U.S.A.: Designed by Ralph Lauren.
GREAT BRITAIN: Designed by Stella McCartney
AUSTRALIA: Designed by Sportscraft and Volley; Adidas
CANADA: Designed by Hudson’s Bay Company.
FRANCE: Designed by Adidas.
JAMAICA: Designed by Cedella Marley, fashion designer and the daughter of Bob Marley.
ITALY: Designed by Gorgio Armani under the EA7 Emporio Armani label. The Italian sailing team will sport designs from Prada.
SOUTH AFRICA: Designed by Leigh Schubert, a Durban based fashion designer who made her U.S. debut last year through distributor BIGCAT Designers. Shubert beat out 19 top South African fashion designers in a competition to design the South African Olympic Team’s opening ceremony kit.
REPUBLIC OF SAN MARINO: Designed by Salvatore Ferragamo.
SOUTH KOREA: Designed by Fila, inspired by uniforms worn in the 1948 Games.
BELIZE: Designed by Jeff Banks.
FINLAND: Designed by Halti.
AZERBAIJAN: Designed by Ermanno Scervino.
JAPAN: Designed by Takashimaya.
RUSSIA: Designed by Bosco Sport; Nike
NEW ZEALAND: Designed by Rodd & Gunn.
NETHERLANDS: Designed by Suitsupply.
BELGIUM: Designed by Stijn Helsen.
PHILLIPINES: Designed by Rajo Laurel.
UKRAINE: Designed by Bosco Sport.
SPAIN: Designed by Bosco Sport.