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

Pam on

Shame on Ralph Lauren!!! And what is with the Beret? They look like they are in the military, awful, just awful

Julia on

Why does this produce an outrage? It’s a piece of clothing! The olympics are about…well, the olympics. Outsourcing is just a natural part of our world now, as long as the design is American, it’s just as American to me.

Lauren on

Honestly, when have berets ever been American? Also what is with the socks on the women? Are they going to be folded or scrunched al la 1995? Also is RL trying to embarrass us in front of Pippa Middleton?

Bonnie G on

It’s time to find an American designer, like the ones that work for LL Bean.

Debbie on

Ralph Lauren’s company had them made in China because its cheaper. But I’m sure they’ve charged the Olympic committee an exorbitant fee, thus, making a huge profit. Scum.

MP on

I love the RL uniforms! Very American!

Janet on

If I were an Olympian, and was forced to wear stuff not made in my country, I would show up in stuff made in my country. Olympics are about many things, one of which is national pride. I’d show it and not be scared to do so.

Julie on

Why not European? Aren’t the Olympics in Europe this year? Come on don’t quibble…They are Americans and representing our good old USA…in London, England which is part of Europe isn’t it?

Sue on

I also take issue with the huge Ralph Lauren logo on the pocket

Alan on

Lets face it there is little to no manufacturing done in the USA anymore, The amercan people will not pay the price for what it would cost to manufacture in the USA. And the American people will not work if they can not get paid a lot of money. lets face it if you can make more on unemployment, food stamps goverment aid for 3+ years why work.
So next time we want to speak out about our outreage, lets first look at ourselves.

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