– USA relied on Kardashian underwear, Italy counters with Armani
The opening ceremony of the Olympic Games is always also a competition of designers – and a colourful catwalk of national pride. An overview of the collections.
Monica Schneider from Tokyo
The Swedes switch to Japanese
It is already a small coup for Uniqlo, the Japanese cheap fashion giant, to break into the Swedish kingdom of H&M. The Swedish Olympic team, which was equipped by Hennes & Mauritz at previous games, now trusts Uniqlo, which also has Roger Federer under contract. The outfit is not incredibly innovative, the most striking thing is that the blue of the northerners contrasts not with a Swedish yellow, but a lemon yellow. And that the line should not be a sports line, but a Livewear+ line. In other words, one that promises us a plus in everyday life.
The underneath and over of the Americans
Above it is the ultra-classic look of Ralph Lauren, economical, traditional, nothing suggests that the new cooling system of the brand is incorporated into the jackets of the flag bearers. You will thank it at these high temperatures! But the surprise is in the down: Because there the US entrepreneur Kim Kardashian, who was recently included by “Forbes” in the billionaire list, has realized.
Her label Skims designed the underwear for the US athletes – of course perfectly shaped. And anyone who now believes that Kardashian has had to be brought closer to the Olympics is seriously mistaken. Her stepfather is Caitlyn Jenner, who won Olympic gold in the decathlon in 1976 as Bruce Jenner. Kardashian says she has visited with her all the cities where Jenner has participated in the Olympic Games.
The Japanese as before and yet brand new
Uuhh, if only they don’t get too warm, the locals. As in their first games in 1964, they march in white and red with elegant blazers. Only: At that time, the Summer Games took place in autumn, and a blazer warmed the cooling shoulders. Asics, the local running shoe and clothing supplier, came up with a pretty detail. To refine the competition outfit, he first founded the Reborn Wear Project and called on the Japanese to send in clothes with a sports-historical past. Fibres taken from it have been woven into the current collection.
Russia is fooling everyone
The conditions for the Russians were clear because of the state doping scandal at the 2014 Winter Games and after a ruling by the International Court of Sport: no national name, no national flag, no national anthem. Russia’s answer is equally clear: the team starts under ROC, which translates as Russian Olympic Committee. The team performs in white-red-blue, what is that other than the flag? And the winners can look forward to the success to the sounds of Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1. What could be better? Neutral was required, everything else was allowed.
Liberia’s uniform already ennobled
The Liberian team is five athletes small – and all are track and field athletes. The name of the outfit designer, however, has long been a big one: Telfar Clemens, son of Liberian parents who grew up in New York, is omnipresent with his gender-neutral and vegan-friendly brand and now writes auch Olympic history. Definitely find “Forbes”. Clemens did not reinvent his unisex designs, but continued his street-stylish athleisure line. And “Vogue” crowned her the “coolest” even before the first performance.
Canadians harshly criticized
Of course, fashion can be argued endlessly. Rare agreement, however, prevailed at the presentation of the Canadian outfit (probably only for the graduation ceremony): misguided. Jeans jacket with sewn-on patches, spray-painted fonts, just a little hand-knitted and seemingly already used. The line, designed by the Canadian department store chain Hudson’s Bay, roared through social media with bluster, apparently it is intended to be a tribute to Japan’s art and street style scene. Then we simply did not understand that.
Who else for Italy but him?
Not only the Americans go big with their names Kardashian and Lauren – of course Italy does it too, but already traditionally. Because once again Giorgio Armani intervened, now 87 years old, but an integral part of the cabinets of the southerners. Since 2012, he has had a “collezione” created for the Italian team – the “tre colori” this time prominently on the training dress. And with a love of detail: the inside of the jacket collar is adorned with the hymn words “Fratelli d’Italia”. We have seen how far they can carry at the Euro.
Switzerland back at home
This is not the first time that the Swiss delegation has been equipped by a local fire. on, the eleven-year-old label based in Zurich, stands in good tradition. In 1968 in Mexico City, Nabholz made its grand entrance: a remarkable eleven nations, including the USA and Jamaica, were dressed by nabholz. Decades later, Switcher followed, and now On sets the trend with “Shades of Red”, red tones, which, however, are more rust tones and thus more discreet.
And what about Tonga?
Then only the question of Pita Taufatofua remains. Is he carrying tonga’s flag to the stadium for the third time? The now 37-year-old was undoubtedly the star of the opening ceremonies of Rio 2016 and Pyeongchang 2018, when he amazed the whole world with his coconut oil shiny, naked upper body in heat and cold. It posted 45 million Twitter messages in Rio.
For a long time, Taufatofua tried to qualify as a canoeist for Tokyo, he would have been the first athlete in three sports. Now he is still hoping for a free starting place. He is certainly there in Taekwondo, as he was in Rio. And he will also arrive at the opening ceremony. Although Tonga has appointed taekwondo fighter Malia Paseka as the official flag bearer, a woman and a man are now allowed to carry the flags. So it is quite possible that Taufatofua will come into play again. In any case, he would not need an outfit designer. He himself is the show.
Belinda Bencic’s and Alex Wilson’s long journey to Tokyo – our exclusive Olympic documentaries Hard quarantine, injuries – and a tragic loss: We accompanied the best Swiss tennis player and sprinter closely with the camera for two years before the 2021 Olympic Games. Click here for Bencic’s story. and click here for Wilson’s story.
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