Well, believe it or not, this is what Ralph Lauren created for Team USA to wear at the Opening Ceremony and the Closing Ceremony of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. The uniforms were unveiled–and worn–this morning on “The Today Show” by David Lauren, Ralph’s son and VP of global advertising, marketing and communications, as well as some Olympic curlers from Minnesota, and “The Today Show” hosts. (Side note, since when is Carson Daly hosting? Good for him.)
This time around, these patchwork-quilt inspired cardigans and the rest of the gear were all made in the good ole’ U S of A. (Remember last time how most of Team USA’s uniforms were made in China? PR nightmare.) “This is an important issue for many Americans and one we have fully embraced, and we want to continue to lead the way and find all kinds of vendors who can produce amazing products made in America,” said David Lauren.
The complete Opening Ceremony and Closing Ceremony look is made up of six items, all of which you can buy at the online store: The quilt-like cardigan, $595; a cream turtleneck sweater, $245; white fleece pants, $165; belt, $75; alpine boots, $395; and the cherry on top–a reindeer hat, $95.
The prices are indeed a little steep, and that’s because of the Made In America premium–sourcing the materials and production in the States was more difficult because so many vendors no longer exist. But it’s worth it to note that 100 percent of the proceeds from the limited-edition cardigan–only 324 were produced for the public–will be donated to the U.S. Olympic Commitee.
Our thoughts on the overall look are mixed. The nod to classic American heritage via the patchwork quilt-like style is an affectionate touch, but the world already thinks Americans look silly enough without having to see our athletes looking like they are heading to an ugly Christmas sweater convention. Next time, let’s take a cue from H&M and try and make our Olympians look stylish.