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

susan atwood on

Although I CERTAINLY AGREE they should be made in the USA….

It can be seen as a TRIBUTE to our BRAVE GREEN BERETS…..to late now

Judy Rowley on

These uniforms do nothing for me at a gut level. I do not connect with them at all. It doesn’t look “European” to me – it seems more 50’s prep school. Besides the colors, what about them says “USA”?
And “Made in China”? Please!

jenny cane on

What do people want, CAMOUFLAGE? PANTS HANGING DOWN TO THE BACK OF THEIR KNEES? BOOTY SHORTS? I understand that those things are all some Americans see but this look is sophisticated and classy. To bad for those who don’t know it.

luci on

Well, it the old saying…Ralph Lauren got his tit caught in a ringer….He knew exactly what he was doing and will not do anything any different in the future….Olympic Committee should not use him. It’s just that easy.

Brian C on

What’s more American than outsourcing? ;)

Kathy Sinkovitz on

It isn’t about poor choice by RL, it’s about the amount of profit! RL won’t rethink his choice because his goal is profit and Mitt Rommney will support that ideology. And for all those who critize the “lazy American worker” may I remind you that we have the unions and their “fair play” philosopy created that “lazy American”! Everyone would like to enjoy RL’s lifestyle!!

Hung on

It’s all business to them. What do you expect?!?

Tracey Doering-Beatty on

The outfits are HORRIBLE!!! A lady wearing a skirt and bobby socks, even before the scarf, beret, and that awful blazer is an embarrassment to the USA. What year does RL think it is? 1950?
And I won’t even start on what the male uniforms look like. Lets just say if you don’t want to be laughed at by the rest of the world don’t wear them. They make our team look weak!

Don’t talk about military berets as if they are the same thing. They are not as they are worn with a military uniform for specific unit(s).

The Olympic uniforms are an embarrassment and disgrace and should be treated as such. I feel so bad for the the athletes that are forced to wear them.

Susan on

I think it’s a bit hypocritical to say that they must be made in USA after the fact. Shouldn’t that info have been part of the uniform maker’s guidelines, for whoever was awarded this deal? I challenge any of the complainers, including members of Congress, to stand up and swear that they have nothing in their wardrobe or household that was Made in China or elsewhere outside the USA. Make it a governing principal then you can complain when people don’t follow it.

cclare on

Elegant, classy uniforms. RL is an American icon with an amazing aesthetic- outsourcing is part of our countries existance & is a crucial part of affordability in the consumer world. We should try to shop locally and support American bussiness as much as we can, however, who doesn”t enjoy a good Target run…. Think uniforms are lovely-

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