TEAM USA or TEAM Ralph Lauren?

Team USA or Team Ralph Lauren

The 30th Summer Olympics in London are on their way and the one thing still being discussed is the fashion of the athletes’ opening ceremony outfits. In my opinion, each country’s outfits were respectable, sharp, colorful and nothing less than appropriate for an Olympic star. However, as my friends and I watched the opening ceremonies we could not help but make comment about the outfits that made the top news in the states, Ralph Lauren’s non-USA made clothing.

The opinions in the room varied whether it was right or wrong that the U.S.A. Olympic team’s outfits were produced outside of the USA. As a small business owner who is struggling to maintain a business in this economy, I understand how important it would have been for the economy to bring that large order of merchandise to be made here. The boost would have been a win-win situation. It’s sad to know that with an event that happens only every 4 years that another opportunity was lost to have American’s surviving in our economy; the opportunity to work. And what better project to have American’s working on than a once in a lifetime event like the Olympics.

Ralph Lauren never delivers anything but fashionable, classic and all-American looking clothing. However, one thing that was brought to my attention was how the U.S.A. team’s outfits were the only outfits out of the many countries represented where corporate branding was not omitted. When my friend pointed out that Ralph’s designs were highly infused with his signature corporate branding and less branding of the U.S.A. I had to think again. Although, my friend who pointed it out found it to be tasteless and greedy, at first I didn’t agree wholeheartedly. But after two days of thinking about it thoroughly through the eyes of small business owner I had an “aha” moment about the matter.

Ralph Lauren is a world-wide brand and having the company’s signature logo on the front of the jackets is not necessary. As my friend said, it’s greedy and further I believe it’s insulating that he wouldn’t set aside his own personal gain of corporate branding and design a jacket to capture the brand and spirit of the U.S.A. Olympic Team which is larger than any brand. The Olympics is a time to honor those extraordinary individuals who are representing their countries, like the USA.

I would be one designer who would have created a design that yelled, U.S.A. instead of creating an outfit that screams, LOOK at my brand. Should there have been corporate branding for the opening ceremony outfits? I think not.

Food for thought!