Thursday, July 19, 2012

Made in the U.S.A? Olympics Opening Ceremony Uniforms Under Fire

While the opening ceremonies start with the carrying and lighting of the torch, Ralph Lauren is also finding themselves under fire for the garments that they created for the event.  The Ralph Lauren company, which took over licensing in 2008, found itself under intense pressure, after the ABC news report that gave broad exposure to the fact that the uniforms were being produced in China, even though they have been produced overseas, or in Canada for more than a decade, with little protest.  But, politics is jumping into the fray, and are making big statements to get big points from the public.  Under the weight of the people, Ralph Lauren released 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 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic teams. Ralph Lauren promises to lead the conversation within our industry and our government to address the issue to increase manufacturing in the United States. We have committed to producing the opening and closing ceremony Team USA uniforms in the United States that will be worn for the 2014 Olympic Games.”

Politics aside-there was also great unrest about the actual design and price of the garments.  People have been up in arms about that berets that have been specifically designed for the event, and the affordability of the items themselves. Ralph Lauren stated that the "outfits embody the spirit of American athleticism and sportsmanship" but many are questioning the inspiration and voicing their unhappiness with this particular design.  What do you think? Are the uniforms by and for the people?

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