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

Claudia on

There is no second chance for a first impression and the damage is done. One week employing 100-200 people in the US 24/7 if needed you can replace those uniforms and make it right. Being humble and accept the mistake sometimes is not enough.

eviewg on

PLEASE! If Henry Reid and the rest of the complaining public checked THEIR closets, they’ll see that most of their stuff isn’t made in the US. Go ahead, be a nudist and burn your clothes. America is made up of immigrants, the Olympics is an international event, the fact that there are some Americans who can’t seem to grasp the concept of being a citizen of the world is why there is still so much ignorance in this country. Unfortunately, these people do breed.

lynn on

Hate the Logo on them. Beret’s are only OK. Who chooses who gets to design clothing? Should have been contest-Americans voting after seeing 3-5 designers photos. Saw an Olympic jacket at sporting goods store the other day-over $400,crazy. All his stuff is overpriced. Is it only for the wealthy?


I think it is a slam towards the USA. I would like to see the athletes boycot the outfits somehow. They definitely should have been made in the USA. Shame on Ralph Lauren.

Really on

Of course no one would appreciate a timeless, more appropriate look. We are a nation of “skinny jeans and kicks.” And I’m sure that all of you voicing your opinions regarding them being made in China and all of this outsourcing don’t own a thing that was made in another country…..right…..

Curvatude on

Let’s just hope that they have learned their lesson.

As far as the styling goes, I do not feel that they are “European” I feel that they are classic and clean.

msberberian on

I’m very dissapointed with Mr Ralph Lauren, He took our style away and so of our jobs. I’m not buying any RL products.

Courtney on

I think the uniforms look great. And I don’t see what people are getting at with the berets. American soldiers wear berets!

Robert on

Yes, it was a mistake to make them in China. Too late to change that, not too late to make sure it doesn’t happen in 2014 as he promised. As to looking Euro, really? A double breasted blue blazer and white pants are classic American yachting season attire. Berets are now worn by all US Army personnel, not to mention US Army Special Forces since Vietnam. How is that not American?

naun on

As of now I choose to halt any purchases of any Ralph Lauren products until 2014.

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