Team U.S.A’s Olympic Uniform Controversy: A Complete Timeline

by , 07/27/12   filed under: Eco-Fashion News, Featured, The Big Idea

Dov Charney, American Apparel, 2012 Olympics, London Olympics, Olympics, 2012 London Olympics, Summer Olympics, Ralph Lauren, made in the U.S.A., eco-fashion, sustainable fashion, green fashion, ethical fashion, sustainable style, Harry Reid, Bosco Sport, Philadelphia, Boathouse Sports

As Ralph Lauren’s controversial Team U.S.A uniforms make their first public appearance at the Olympic opening ceremony in London, a timeline of the brouhaha.

July 10: Ralph Lauren unveils the opening ceremony uniforms for the 2012 London Olympics; various news outlets mock the “too European” berets and oversized polo-rider logos.

July 11: ABC News reports that Ralph Lauren’s Team U.S.A Olympic uniforms are made in China, taking an estimated $1 billion in income away from the U.S. economy. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says to “burn them.”

July 12: Boathouse Sports notes that the U.S. Olympic rowing teams are manufactured in Philadelphia, where the sportswear-maker is based.

July 13: Ralph Lauren releases a statement agreeing to produce the American athletes’ uniforms in the United States starting with the 2014 Olympics.

July 15: Dov Charney, CEO of American Apparel, tells the New York Post that his company is in talks to design Russia’s uniforms for the 2014 Winter Olympics. He further brags that he could have American-made uniforms in London within a week.

July 16: The U.S. House of Representatives introduces legislation to ensure that future Team U.S.A. Olympic uniforms are made in the United States.

July 20: Russia’s Olympic organizing committee tells WWD reports that it has contracted Moscow-based Bosco Sport to dress the country’s athletes through to the 2016 Olympics in Rio. When asked to comment, Charney retorts that not every high-level official “knows everything that’s going on with an inquiry about product.”

July 23: Charney admits that American Apparel was never in discussions with Russia over their Olympic uniforms.

July 26: The Los Angeles Times quotes Li Guilian, who runs the Chinese firm responsible for Ralph Lauren’s uniforms, as saying, “We have cheaper costs here so you can have cheaper prices in America.”

July 27: The uniforms make their official debut at the Olympics opening ceremony.

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