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

Gigi on

I have always loved Ralph Lauren but the Olympic uniforms are too European. Frankly if he changed the hat it would help alot. Frankly I think he should change the hat on his dime and get it to done here in the USA before Opening Day! I wonder if he was involved at all?

atlantatea on

the outfit is boring and boring! needs some American flava! pizzazz. Hey Ralph maybe partner with a youthful upcoming designer from US fashion school…

Kitty on

Unions caused manufacturing to go overseas. Businesses can’t afford the demands of the union anymore so they go to China because it’s cheaper there.

shadowsept on

what kind of Jackass would even think it would be okay to manafacture uniforms for olympic athletes in a foreign company…only a money grubbing jerk….i am ahamed that our athletes will be appearing in foreign made uniforms that make them look like a FRENCH team…very shameful

Jeanette on

When I first saw them, I thought they were horrible. They look way too military. I think the only people from this country eligible to wear military outfits are the military that are fighting for our country. The fact that they were made in China makes it even worse.

Blue Ldy on

Why did Ralph Lauren do this in the first place? I feel that maybe Ralph Lauren shouldn’t be in charge next time. Lets someone else do the design the correct way! He shouldn’t be paid for his mistake!

shadowsept on

ohh and BTW my carharts are made in the usa and are more than good enough for many a hard working american

rmb on

Agree with French. First time I saw this pic, I thought the uniforms look French and not really American. Yes, America is a melting pot, but to keep it Americanized, they should not embody a European style (especially when there are more than just Europeans in America) and the berets and blazer look is most definitely a French look.

Gerald Pryor on

I think that these clothes from China,is a real big mistake. Don’t we have company’s here in the US that can make us look like American’s. We really should wake up before this get’s worse Jerry Pryor

masha on

1. Most of elegant clothe made in Europe, if you see it done by american designer, it being copied in most of the cases.
2. USA is the only country which do not give money to the sport, for years parents responsible for all the costs, including uniforms, which usually made in China.3. RL is a huge sponsor with production in China, when you buy from RL store even Black label made in China. So, why is there is a surprise. Unless Olympic comity specified that they want uniforms to be made in USA and paid for it, then RL is responsible and should not produce it in a future other way there is no issue

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