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

Jennifer Opacki on

WOW – what kind of deal did Ralph make with the Olympic contactsto have his logo on the front of the cloths – lots of advertising…

Joan Frank on

I think the skirt looks dorky. Really don’t find the uniforms especially stylish at all. Too prep school to me, but then when in Rome….

judy B on

Outsourcing is the root of some of our domestic problems here in this country.

Family first should be our motto. Companies who are outsourcing should pay huge penalties, when we have millions of people out of work.

Be American, buy American…..No more Ralph Lauren for me…..

Danielle on

Shame, shame,,,,,,that this country have lost his soul……why…..? who sold us to China…..it should be executed…..in a public place……so every body can watch……like Sadan Hussein.

Paul on

I think its a shame that Ralph Lauren had the uniforms made in China. Its a slap in the face to US manufacturing. There should be no next time for him. I would exclude him from future design of USA uniforms.

swack on

If I’m not mistaken, does not one branch of our armed forces wear the same type of beret?

Cameron on

Why is everyone so shocked. Ralph Lauren is simply showing what america is all about. Production that is cheap and produces the most profit for the CEO’s. Boycott the olympics.

Betty on

I hate the RL logo over the heart,,when the athletes put their hand over their heart to honor the USA it will be Ralphie getting the cover..grrrrr…should be a USA flag in that spot if ANYTHING!!!

Tracy on

Mr. Lauren,
If I were one of these athletes, I would refuse to wear any uniform not made in the USA. They should ALL refuse. Wear jeans and a tee shirt! Mr. Lauren, this is not just a “misstep”, it is an insult. The sad thing is I am not at all surprised. Ralph Lauren, you have the resources, due in no small part to the laws and protections of the USA, to make this right FOR THIS OLYMPICS. Will this cut too far into your profit margin?

NO on

These outfits look terrible, I won’t be buying any more of his clothes. I don’t trust anything coming out of China, what with the bad dog food, drywalls, and many other bad products. This is an embarrasement to the US, Ralph should have use American workers to make the uniforms. So is he saying we can buy his clothes but not make them?

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