Ralph Lauren Responds to U.S. Olympic Uniform Controversy

07/16/2012 at 12:30 PM ET

Olympics 2012
Courtesy Ralph Lauren

When it was reported that the U.S. Olympic Opening Ceremony uniforms were actually made in China, many people spoke out, criticizing the uniforms. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid even went so far as to say they should be burned.

But amidst all the controversy, the brand behind the clothes — Ralph Lauren — remained quiet. Until this weekend, when the company broke its silence. They seemed to acknowledge their misstep with the following statement:

“For more than 45 years Ralph Lauren has built a brand that embodies the best of American quality and design rooted in the rich heritage of our country. We are honored to continue our longstanding relationship with the United States Olympic Committee in the 2014 Olympic Games by serving as an Official Outfitter of the US Olympic and Paralympic teams. Ralph Lauren promises to lead the conversation within our industry and our government addressing the issue of increasing manufacturing in the United States and has committed to producing the Opening and Closing ceremony Team USA uniforms in the United States that will be worn for the 2014 Olympic Games.”

So, the navy blazers, white bottoms and berets that you’ll see at this year’s Olympics will have been made in China. But after all the scrutiny, Ralph Lauren promises to keep things “local” next time around.

That hasn’t stopped people from voicing another complaint, though: that the ensembles are way too European. Tell us: What do you think about Ralph Lauren’s statement? What are your thoughts on the Olympic uniforms being made in China?


FILED UNDER: Athletes , Designers , Fashion
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Showing 240 comments

terry ferraro on


happy on

Everything about it is foreign many not be European but understand its not American. Just because you add red, white, and blue does not make it American. But I do understand supporting our nation, whether it be with colors or baseball.

Sue on

I totally agree having the USA’s Olympic uniforms made outside of the USA is a HUGE mistake, however i have no problem with the “European” stly beret……our country is a melting pot of cultures and i do not feel that in todays time that the style of headwear shown classifies as belonging to a certain nation or nationality.

amtvi on

What makes the design “foreign”? The fact that it’s classy, timeless and formal?

Perhaps he should have gone with a hoodie and sweatpants!

Sany on

They should have thought about this and the scrutiny they would get from having made them in China! What was he thinking? Really is a shame for this country, and just goes to show how much outsourcing we do!! Pathetic!

French on

I love the colors. I love the berets. I think the French will think they have a 2nd team. Good going, RL. You made out team look like the French.

robby on

It has been reported that Mitt Romney is responsible for the outsourcing of the manufacture of these uniforms.

It also have been learned that Mitt Romney was responsible for the sinking of the Lusitania.

jo thomas on

i think it is a shame that the uniforms were not made in America. The best-loking uniform our team has worn was was the cowboy uniform from years ago.

Mim on

For this very reason…..”NEXT TIME” AMERICANS are without jobs because of years of out sourcing of jobs and companies receiving millions of dollars from our government for doing so. NEXT TIME how about don’t even use RALPH LAUREN at all!!!! Ralph Lauren knows the importance especially since the Olympics only occur ever 4 years, it will be so watered down and forgotten RALPH LAUREN WILL DO THIS AGAIN!!!! Burn the uniforms everything and let the companies in America manufacture 2012 uniforms for the Olympics there are several companies that have come forward and stated they can get them made in 2 weeks!

Ingrid on

I work for Ralph Lauren Polo Factory Stores, and I do love RL’s product but I do have a problem with “American” Companies shipping jobs overseas.

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