London, Feb 12 (ANI): Team USA has unveiled its Ralph Lauren-designed Olympic Village kit, just as the starter's gun sounds at New York Fashion Week.
This summer, the countless millions watching London 2012 will discover just which nationality has run the fastest, thrown the farthest - or dressed the flashiest.
The Olympic Games, which are the planet's pre-emininent sporting event, fast shaping up to be fiercely hard-fought in the style stakes. Three of fashion's greatest superpowers - Italy, Great Britain and the United States - are fitting out their Olympians in designer kit for London 2012.
First out of the blocks is Team USA, which has unveiled its Ralph Lauren-designed Olympic Village. Featuring the designer's famous pony emblem, the Olympic Village attire also boasts a retro logo that harks back to the last London Games in 1948, and the number 12 flashed prominently on the arm.
In this newly-released picture, the polo-shirt and chino ensemble is modelled by a selection of exciting American Olympians and Paralympian prospects including the swimmer Ryan Lochte, who has been touted a potential successor to Michael Phelps.
As well as the off-duty wear shown here, Ralph Lauren has also designed the uniform to be worn by Team USA and the opening and closing ceremonies.
Lauren might be the first designer to dive into the Olympic fray, but Britain and Italy are poised to reveal their own designer kit in the next few weeks.
For Italy, the tailoring titan Giorgio Armani has designed the national team's entire sporting and formal wardrobe. So far, this has only been glimpsed via a campaign image for his sportswear label EA7.
As for Team GB, the long-awaited fruits of Stella McCartney's long-term collaboration with Adidas to produce all the home team's kit will also be unveiled soon. At 40 years old, McCartney is the youngest Olympic fashion designer, but has worked with the sportswear giant Adidas since 2004.
Last year she released a commemorative collection of London 2012 branded clothes. which are already selling well.
Some of the Ralph Lauren equipment, as well as a much wider selection of Team USA themed clothes, will be on sale too. Pure patriotism apart, the appeal of Olympic fashion collaboration rests in the companies' hope that some of the 4.6 million estimated visitors to London this July and August, as well as the hundreds of millions watching on television, will consider buying that kit to show their support.
"We are giving people something that's commemorative, something they can hold on to that's a piece history. It's a privilege to play a part in the London 2012 Olympics, and to celebrate the achievements of these athletes with the rest of the world," the Telegraph quoted David Lauren, Ralph's son as saying.
One other nation has recruited a fashion designer to jazz up its games kit this summer. Surprisingly, however, it is not France, but Jamaica. Cedella Marley - both designer and daughter of Bob - has created the Puma-produced uniform for the national track and field squad that includes Usain Bolt.
"We're gonna burn up the tracks," she said.
"I think we're going to stand out a little bit more in 2012," she added. (ANI)
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