Athletes are not the only ones gunning for gold this time around, with fashion conglomerates and big names in couture designing their official gear. As the 2016 Summer Olympics draw close, we tell you what’s hot and what’s not at Rio de Janeiro this year. All official gear are available for sale in stores and online in their home countries.
Team France – Felipe Oliveira Baptista for Lacoste
Felipe Oliveira Baptista from Lacoste has brought their signature style into play in their Rio 2016 collection. Their second collaboration with the French team has a crisp collection of thigh-length navy Macintosh and skinny white ankle-baring trousers, a windbreaker and sweatpants in white or blue and white shoes for the podium. Baptista, known for his athleisure expertise has focussed on functional aspects with zip-up sweaters and rain-resistant ponchos carrying the French flag colours of blue and white.
Team Cuba – Christian Louboutin
Cuba joins the likes of USA, GB and Italy on the list of fashionable athletes at Rio with Christian Louboutin from France at the helm of the team’s official apparel. Teaming up with former French professional handball player Henri Tai, the French accessories designer has tried to integrate the classical clothing styles of the 50s with bold iconography in this pop-meets-athletic-chic collection with Guayabera shirt-inspired jackets in red for men and beige for women. The Cuban team will also see high top sneakers and loafers for the men and kitten heels for the ladies,flaunting Louboutin’s signature red sole.
Team Italy – Giorgio Armani
Having pioneered red carpet fashion for over 30 years, Giorgio Armani is back with the Italian Olympic contingent for the third time (at London in 2012 and Sochi in 2014 previously). For the Rio 2016 collection, Emporio Armani 7 carries a strong minimalist vibe in its range of tracksuits, waterproof jackets with short and long sleeves, polo T-shirts, Bermuda shorts and cargo pants among others. The apparel come in signature Armani midnight blue bearing the EA7 and national Olympic committee’s logos. “Fashion represents a great Italian flag for the whole world and it is a beautiful idea to combine it with sports,” says the ace designer, even as some expressed disappointment that the green, white and red colours of their flag were not incorporated.
Team Great Britain – StellaMcCartney for Adidas
Designer Stella McCartney and Adidas who are styling the British Olympians for the second time after 2012 have rung in a bold yet light collection to get athletes to the podium in style. While some find it ‘skimpy’, Tom Daley’s extra-short trunks did catch everybody’s attention. And McCartney’s new coat of arms for the collection and Union Jack-inspired palette has ticked all the right boxes.
Team USA – Polo Ralph Lauren
Olympic regulars Polo Ralph Lauren have a beach chic vibe going in their official ceremonial collection for USA at Rio this year. While the maritime-inspired look with button-ups over striped tees and chino shorts has been criticised for its generic designs, the funky calfskin boat shoes get a thumbs up. Rounded toes, rawhide laces and a padded leather insole, we like.
Team Canada – Dsquared2
While Hudson’s Bay has brought out their Rio sport gear, Canada turned to Dan and Dean Caten from Dsquared2 for their ceremonial wear . The team will walk out into the Maracana in a red tailored single-breasted blazer with a high-low cut, black rubberised buttons, ribbed cuffs and a zip pocket on the chest.
Team Sweden – H&M
H&M’s Olympic gear-inspired line, For Every Victory, merges technical prowess and style. The collection brings the best of Olympic couture to their activewear with sports bras, jackets and graphic leggings among others using a muted dusty pink, grey and black colour scheme coupled with quick breathable material.
Team Australia – Toms
While the candy-stripe green seersucker jacket with white bottoms look has received lukewarm response, the white brogues by Toms, a socially conscious American accessories brand has caught our fancy from Australia’s Rio gear. Proceeds from sales go towards the benefit of disadvantaged children and communities.
Functionality in fashion is a powerful marriage especially in the world of sports. The benefits and aesthetics are endless along with the pride of wearing the best from the country. It’s high time India puts up a power presence at the Olympics. —Shivan&Narresh, fashion designers
Athleisure has been a big trend and of course emphasis on sportswear is evident. It’s like wearing your workout wear all day long; think printed leggings paired with a denim jacket. H&M has created a specific line dedicated to Olympics. I don’t think an event like this is about playing out fashion trends as much as it is to look cool and stylish.—Malini Banerji,fashion director, Elle India
I like the track and field look by H&M. The colour palette will work well with all skin tones. The collection speaks greatly about aggression with fluidity and stealth-like speed. —Nikhil Mehra, Shantanu & Nikhil
Text: Lavanya Lakshminarayanan