Stella McCartney's Biggest Olympic Design Challenge? The Speedos!

08/01/2012 at 12:30 PM ET

Tom Daley
Barbara Walton/EPA/Landov

Designing Great Britain’s Olympic kits was a lot of pressure for Stella McCartney. But one uniform in particular really posed a challenge: “Tom Daley’s little thing,” McCartney joked to the BBC Tuesday night, referring to the dreamy diver’s Speedo (left). “There wasn’t a lot of space to work on to apply the print!”

While the designer had to work with “so many different bodies, so many different shapes and sizes,” she also had to take into consideration the 26 different sports she was creating uniforms for. Because of that, “It took about three years to do all the designs,” she revealed. “It’s the first time a fashion designer has worked with a sports brand like Adidas over an entire [uniform collection].”

McCartney was also forced to choose function over form, which can be tough for a high-fashion designer. “Practicality comes first,” she shared, “and then secondly I wanted to try and represent the nation, try and make [them] iconic, try and make [them] recognizable. It was technology led … but I think for me it was trying to get the team to look and feel as one.”

But even though the process was long and tough, McCartney has no regrets. As she said, “It’s been an incredible experience.” Tell us: What do you think of Great Britain’s Olympic uniforms? Which country’s uniforms are your favorite? 

Olympics 2012 Uniforms
Courtesy Stella McCartney

–Reporting by Liz Corcoran


FILED UNDER: Athletes , Designers
Add A Comment

Got something to add to this post? Fill out the fields below to make a comment, ask a question or share a tip. We'd love to hear from you.

Note: If this is your first time commenting on Style News Now, your comment will need to be approved by our moderator before it will appear. Thanks for your patience, and check back again soon.

Showing 17 comments

J. Martinez on

Stella did an AMAZING job. I love the uniforms. I think they are classy, modern, bold, hip, stylish and functional. SUPER COOL. Well done, Stella!!

Beth on


E on

Overall I think the uniforms are nice. I get the theme of the uniform, but using it in the way she did on the speedo was a mistake. She jokes about designing “Tom Daley’s little thing” but the way the colors go across the speedo really emphasizes his not so little thing. Yes, it’s a similar look and theme to the rest of the collection, but look at that picture again. You can’t tell me your eye isn’t drawn by the blocks of color to exactly the contours created by his anatomy.

Guest on

E- guess it just depends on what you are use to, looks small from what I am use to seeing :P

I really like the uniforms that McCartney did. She obviously had to use designs that the athletes needed and she came up with a nice color scheme and they all do look nice lined up together.

michaelpie on

I have been visiting variousblogs for my dissertation study. I have found your blog to be fairlybeneficial. Keep updating your blog with usefulinformation… Regards Now I’m not an expert on men’s fashion but I did notice from a recent closet purge

Laura on

Sure, Edie, it’s Obama’s fault that the opening ceremony outfits were made in China *rolls eyes* Us being in 2 simultaneous wars had nothing to do with us being so far in debt, apparently? *SERIOUS eye roll*

ANWAY back to the topic at hand, Stella did a great job with the UK uniforms! They all look great!
I’m not psyched about the American gray tracksuits for medals – snore! (Where are the stars and stripes, for pete’s sake?)

Best Restaurants St Paul Minnesota on

You understand thus significantly in the case of this subject, produced me in my view believe it from numerous various angles. Its like women and men are not fascinated unless it is one thing to do with Lady gaga! Your personal stuffs excellent. Always handle it up!

Next | 1 | 2 | Show All

From Our Partners


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,511 other followers

Sign up for our daily newsletter and other special offers.
    Choose your newsletters
Thank you for signing up! Your request may take up to one week to be processed.
    see all newsletters