|iStock/photoshop Anne Zeiser|
By Anne Zeiser
Founder of Azure Media
Author of Transmedia Marketing: From Film and TV to Games and Digital Media
Four years ago, I felt compelled to write a withering post about the U.S. Olympic team's uniform, designed by Ralph Lauren. Tonight, during the opening ceremonies in Rio, we'll see the seminal U.S. designer's next iteration in its full glory.
But the big reveal may play a lot like a rerun of London. As expected, the team uniform is patriotically red, white, and blue. And it's still nautical preppy, because that's what Lauren is (that, or equestrian preppy). Like four years ago, the Polo logo on the blazer is glaringly gargantuan.
What's different? The designer has traded in the double-breasted blue blazer for single breasted. The whole outfit looks too tight (or maybe that's the new "athletic cut"?). And the boat shoes are, well....red, white and blue. To reinforce its patriotism, Ralph Lauren (or the U.S. Olympic Committee) decided not to make Team USA's uniforms in China anymore, and went with "Made in America."
Social media is mocking the uniform with fervor. Early squawks note that the shirt’s white, blue and red stripes – revealed above the blazer – resemble the Russian flag. “Oh, Putin, stop!” laughed @FradkinOleg.
In light of the current presidential election, placing any more energy on the uniforms feels misspent. So, instead of writing a new, long post, here's my Huffington Post review of Team USA's uniform of four years ago, "Ponies and Stripes Forever: The Olympics’ Shameless Polo Product Placement."
Everything that I wrote about the former Olympic uniforms still applies, but because of the current context, the political allusions are more amusing.
This updated story also appeared in the HuffingtonPost.
Anne Zeiser is a critically-acclaimed transmedia and social impact producer and media strategist. She's stewarded films and iconic series for PBS, produced news for CBS, managed national brands for marketing firms, and founded Azure Media, which develops transmedia projects on air, online, and on the go that fuel social impact in communities, in schools, and in capitals. With media partners from PBS and the BBC to Miramax and Sikelia Productions, Zeiser has successfully launched and marketed film studios and media organizations, feature and documentary films, television series and specials, mobile games and apps, and online video and media communities. She's the author of Transmedia Marketing: From Film and TV to Games and Digital Media from Focal Press' American Film Market® Presents book series. You can follow her at the book’s Web site or on Twitter @azuremedia.