Fashion is an integral part of the Olympic Games and several high-end designers are in the business of creating Olympic styles. In just four months, Team USA athletes will go for gold wearing ensembles from Ralph Lauren, while Italian competitors will sport Giorgio Armani attire. British fashion designer, Stella McCartney, was awarded the honor of dressing this year’s “home team.” McCartney has unveiled the much anticipated Team GB kits for the Olympic Games in London.
The new gear, which will be seen on more than 500 Olympic and 350 Paralympic athletes, debuted today at the Tower of London. Olympic hopefuls including track and field athlete, Jessica Ennis, and triple jumper, Phillips Idowu, modeled the new outfits. McCartney and adidas have been working to develop the designs for more than two years. As with their collaborative sportswear range, both function and fashion were considered when creating the uniforms.
“When I talked to the athletes I asked them: ‘Do you feel different when you look good, do you think it enhances your performance?’ and they all said ‘yes’. You shouldn’t have to sacrifice style for sport,” McCartney said.
The Team GB Olympians will wear dark blue gear, inspired by the Union Flag, with red shoes. The designs are meant to tap into national pride, in an unconventional way.
She said, “Something that was very important to me was to try and use that very iconic image but to dismantle it and try to soften it, break it down and make it more fashionable in a sense.”
But McCartney’s modern take on the British flag has been met with some criticism for not sticking to the country’s imagery and national colors. In defense of her designs, she told the BBC: “I wanted to start with the union flag, but I’m really aware the reds, whites and blues are in other nations’ flags and sometimes you can feel quite confused when you are watching the Games… is that American, is that French?”
Below is a preview of the Team GB Olympic uniforms: