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

christine on

What makes it foreign is the beret, which comes to us from France, and the shoes which are definitely more European than American. No one said it was not trendy or fitting with the current environment of fashion. But yes they should have been made in our country.

maggie on

They look like flight attendants to me…..oh well, maybe next year will be better. Good luck.

Izzie on

Why aren’t people outraged by all the things that are made in China? Why is it that we’re annoyed because of the Olympic uniforms? Frankly, I’d rather buy American — and even pay extra. I don’t like or agree with the Chinese government, but yet I’m forced to support China because the decision-makers have decided that is the way to do business.

wake up on

Almost all uniform apparel is produced overseas.
To have something made in the US is more than triple the cost of what it would be to have it made overseas and people/businesses can’t afford it.

So in theory I understand why people would want items US made to support our own country & economy. However no one wants to pay US cost of labor and materials to have it done.
It’s an evil circle.

Leslie on

I wonder how many people who are throwing a fit about these uniforms are, right now, typing out those fits on computers that were made in China, while wearing clothes that are made in Mexico, and drinking out of cups made in Korea. Get over it. It’s the way of the world. And unless EVERY SINGLE THING in your house was made in America, quit being a complaining hypocrite.

dee on

Since these athletes are representing the United States, they should NOT be representing Ralph Lauren. The Olympic Committee should REMOVE the LOGOS.

jenn halt on

If Americans weren’t so lazy and “above” factory jobs, we wouldn’t have this problem.

nice job ralph the uniforms are presh!

Rochele on

He must be buddies with Mitt Romney; exporting more American jobs….

gabalita on

why does ralph lauren have to design them?
why can’t tommy hilfiger or some other person do it?

Nonya on

It doesn’t look European so much as it does dated. It looks like 1950s uniforms. I hope the teams toss the beret and shorten up the poodle skirt a few inches (but not make it a mini).

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