Apparently there's a firestorm of controversy over the uniform Ralph Lauren designed for the U.S. team to wear at the opening Olympic ceremonies, and it's not hard to see why. For starters, the damned Ralph Lauren Polo logo totally upstages the Olympic rings logo. It's huge! Also, as shown in a picture after the jump, the uniforms look pretty cheap up close, probably because they were made as part of a rush job sent to Chinese "tailors" at the last minute. The American Politics Journal wrote, "Lauren – and most likely his son David – celebrated not the spirit of athletic competition but themselves and their brand, morphing our athletes into unpaid billboards for the "Polo™" pony and rider that has helped bring the Laurens great... riches." Well, sure, yes, but everyone is kind of past the whole notion of the Olympics as unspoiled, non-commercial amateur competition no? Which brings us to another key criticism of the uniforms, familiar to anyone who has followed the presidential race: They are elitist. Wrote one commenter on Project Rungay:
These outfits presented the United States athletes as rich snobs, frankly. They made the team look like a 1948 yacht club.
Also, the design essentially copies from British, French, and Italian uppercrust aesthetics, thereby undermining the independent streak the U.S. tries so hard to boast in the international community.
Project Rungay sort of agreed, saying the uniforms "look fine," like "classic American sportswear... we honestly think baseball caps would have worked better."
(Top photos by Ralph Lauren; Lower by Getty Images)