As the athletes gear up for the start of the 2018 Winter Olympics, the Team USA designer is making sure their uniforms are ready as well. Ralph Lauren has been the official designer of Team USA's uniforms for the past 6 Olympics and Paralympics, beginning with the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
This year, the company has stepped up their ingenuity. According to USA Today, the U.S. athletes will be wearing red, white, and blue down parkas when they participate in the opening ceremonies at the Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium in South Korea.
While the parkas are stylish on the outside, they have one special feature that is gaining positive attention: they are embedded with wearable heating technology. The jackets include a battery pack inside and athletes can control the temperature via their cell phones.
David Lauren, the chief innovation officer of the company and son of Ralph, said, "It's the most technologically advanced jacket ever produced. There have been heatable blankets for kids before but they have wires. This is a fabric with ink that heats up- it's weightless, it's conductive and it's immediate."
According to CNN, the parkas are lined with the shape of the American flag made out of carbon and silver ink that is bonded to the interior. The ink is flexible, stretchable, and conducts heat.
Lauren said, "We're using mobile technology so it's literally wired but with no wires." It also includes "an American flag inside the jacket, only the athletes will see it, so the American flag will heat the jacket- it's a symbolic ode to our flag."
The rest of the Team USA uniform for the opening ceremonies is impressive as well. Lauren opted to use rhinestone-cowboy gloves, an ode to the nation and to his preference for western-wear looks.
The uniform also includes a slim jean, an intarsia-knit wool sweater with patriotic features, a navy blue wool ski hat, a USA-themed bandana, a leather belt, and brown boots with red laces.
Lauren said that the goal with the uniforms was to "reflect the DNA of America."
He said, "So you see vintage-inspired southwestern gloves adding to an eclectic look of a jacket that is the cutting edge of modernity. You're taking jeans, which are an American staple and a sign of American style around the world, and giving it a cutting edge of new fabrics and flexibility. You're taking a classic and making it modern and that is what Ralph Lauren is about."
What do you think about Team USA's 2018 Olympic uniforms? Let us know your thoughts! In other recent news, Oprah finally broke silence over her 2020 presidential run.