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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

an american designer in beijing

Lots of attention is being paid to American athletes this week... their triumphs, their failures, and their outfits. Legendary American sportswear designer Ralph Lauren was commissioned to create Team USA's look for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, and who knew fashion could be so controversial? The preppy patriotic ensembles have received high praise by some and high criticism by others.

Here's a glance at the athletes at the opening ceremony (in case you missed it)...

high praise:

Team USA looked pretty great on TV, and the U.S. Olympic committee appears to be quite satisfied with their dapper threads...

Norm Bellingham, the U.S. Olympic Committee's chief operating officer said, "Ralph Lauren was a 'perfect fit' for us, as, not only do they present a timeless and quintessentially American look, but they also have a great understanding of the importance of this moment in presenting these American ambassadors on a world stage in a manner that is appropriately dignified."

high criticism:

The Polo pony is an offensively large marketing ploy by Lauren during an economic recession...

Jeff Koopersmith, international political consultant, said, "Lauren - a 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 Laurens great - and well deserved - riches."

triumphant or tragic?

I think the outfits were a triumph. Team USA looked like a force to be reckoned with in their sharp blazers. The Polo pony did not distract me from the spirit of the Olympic Games, Mr. Koopersmith, your negativity did.

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