Illustrating how many items are made in the China for consumption by United States citizens these days, news has hit home that the Team USA Olympic opening games uniforms were made in China.
The uniforms were designed by Ralph Lauren and feature a pair of bright white slacks (or a skirt for the women), a navy blue blazer and a navy beret. Finally, a pair of blazing white shoes finish off the look. The whole ensemble is reminiscent of the WWII era and has an aura of militant nostalgia about it.
Commentators have been blasting the branding of the Ralph Lauren ensembles, set to be worn by the athletes in the opening games, for having been made and tailored in China. While the designer is proudly American, or so the fashion house claims, the materials were actually produced and finished in China, which is so often categorized as America’s economic rival.
ABC News quoted one American fashion designer who was appalled by Ralph Lauren’s sneaky maneuverings. She stated:
Why shouldn’t we have pride not only in the American athletes, but in the American manufacturers and laborers who are the backbone of our country?
The uniforms proudly bare the Ralph Lauren symbol, the classic polo pony, as a shiny medallion that sits at the breast of the blazer. So while the Ralph Lauren fashion house can boast a sense of long-gone Americana, it appears that the designer does not actually want to pay for American manufacturing.
This of all outfits is perhaps the most ironic to have been made in China. The Olympics are an aggressively nationalistic set of competitions that pit various groups against each other to prove the might and talent of the national teams. The decision to make the uniforms in China just illustrates America’s dependence on Chinese manufacturing for any number of objects, implements and clothing.
It appears the designer wants to make a pure profit on these items. While probably saving on manufacturing costs, for those who want to buy the uniform, the skirts sell for almost $500 and the blazer for nearly $600, according to the Wall Street Journal. The uniform debacle is a classic instance of the most common form of American consumerism, so perhaps it is fitting for the national team to be decked out in the manufacturing that so many average Americans wear on a daily basis.
Not surprisingly, this same situation befell the Olympic uniforms created in 2008. They were also manufactured in China and drew many of the same criticisms. Apparently, the uprise against this trend was not great enough to change the outcome this year.
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons