Ralph Lauren unveils US team Olympic uniforms for Tokyo Games closing ceremonies

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NEW YORK – With a crisp white graphic look and roomy pockets, the uniforms that will be worn by Team USA at the closing ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics were unveiled on Wednesday by official outfitter Ralph Lauren.
The uniforms, along with the Olympic Village outfit designed by Ralph Lauren for American athletes, were ready to go when the Games were postponed last summer due to the pandemic.

“It looks like we’re all gone now,” David Lauren, the company’s director of branding and innovation, told The Associated Press before the reveal. “They had been designed, produced and ready to go. “

The Games are now set to open on July 23 and end on August 8 as organizers continue to figure out how to organize them as the pandemic still rages on and only 100 days remain. In the meantime, Ralph Lauren is ready with the opening and closing parade clothing for the more than 600 athletes of the U.S. team, those competing in the Paralympics and Olympic-themed merchandise for sale to the public.

The uniforms for the opening ceremony will be unveiled in July.

Lauren, the son of the fashion giant’s founder, said sustainability is at the heart of this Olympic tour.

Ralph Lauren, who has been equipping Team USA since 2008, worked with Dow on a pre-treatment cotton dyeing process that uses less water, chemicals and energy than more traditional methods. The process was used for a navy blue polo shirt that each athlete will receive.

An alternative to leather using plant-based materials and synthetic plastic-free agricultural byproducts was used for a patch on the Closing Ceremony white stretch denim pants, which is made from cotton grown in the United States. And like the lightweight drawstring jacket, a striped red, white and blue belt the athletes will wear is partly made from recycled plastic bottles.

The patches are already a memory of the historic Olympic delay: they say “Team USA” with the year 2020 printed in red.

The zip-up jackets in white feature navy collars and hoods, and red, white and blue striped cuffs. An American flag patch is on one arm and “USA” is on the other, the latter also on a pant leg. Athletes will wear a classic white polo shirt, white striped sneakers and navy blue masks also in American cotton.

The company’s Olympic collection will be available for purchase starting Wednesday at RalphLauren.com and in June at select Ralph Lauren retail stores, select US department stores and online at TeamUSAShop.com. All revenues support Team USA.

“We want our athletes to truly be ambassadors of American style, culture and sportsmanship,” Lauren recently said via Zoom from Manhattan. “We also understood that the message for the Olympics was about sustainability, that it would be the most sustainable Olympics in history and a chance for the team to be ingenious around new ways of thinking about our team. environment. “

Daryl Homer, silver medalist in saber at the 2016 Games, is hoping to make his third Olympic appearance. He was one of three Tokyo suitors to model the AP closing uniforms at the Polo Ralph Lauren store in Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood.

The Olympic delay, said Homer, 30, has been difficult at times, a year away from the competition.

“I feel quite prepared,” he said. “I’m preparing as best I can, given the situation. I’m just happy there are Games. “

Homer, living in Harlem during the pandemic, used his downtime to be “a normal person and get out of sports a bit.” I read, I took walks, I ran, I tried to stay in shape. I tried to just be there where I was. “

Jordyn Barratt, a native of Honolulu now living in San Diego, was also on hand to show off the uniforms. The skater who was hoping to be on the Olympic team for the first time now that her sport has been added said: “It’s all started to feel real about a month ago. It’s a lot more real and a lot more stressful. “

The 22-year-old has national championships, a professional circuit stopover and a world championship ahead of the Olympics, without competition since November 2019.

“It has done great things for women’s skateboarding. It’s a very male dominated sport, ”Barratt, a park skateboarder, said of the Olympics.

And Barratt is thrilled to have the chance to travel to Tokyo with his childhood friend, fellow skateboarder, Olympic candidate and 2019 world champion Heimana Reynolds, from Honolulu who moved to San Diego in November 2019, before the pandemic does not strike.

“I was probably 8 or 9 years old, I just saw her at the skatepark, and we were constantly going skating together,” said Reynolds, also 22 and a park skateboarder. “We never really thought we would be this far into skateboarding. It’s really cool that we went from childhood skate buddies to traveling the world in competition, and now to this.

“She was probably like the first skateboarder I had seen,” he said. “I was like, ‘Wow, it’s really cool that there are girls skating.’ “

Reynolds, Barratt joked, was the “little guy” growing up.

Lauren noted that the Olympics will be the first time since the start of the pandemic that “the world is coming together.” He called the Games a “night out” with “a sense of hope that we all need in our lives right now”.

Like other Olympic fans, Lauren is disappointed not to attend the Games in Tokyo. The organizers have decided that foreign spectators will not be allowed. He attended the opening ceremonies of past Olympics in Beijing, Vancouver, London and Atlanta.

“It’s one of the great experiences of my life, to see all these teams come together, to see the energy. It is unlike anything you have ever seen before, ”he said. “When you’re there in person, it’s electric.

“There is a feeling,” he says, “that we are all one”.

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