Today’s must-reads from around the Internet.
One of the best things that happens every Olympics is the trickle-down of all the new performance-enhancing gear that hits the market.
And after spending the past four years in the lab with the world’s greatest athletes, most of it ends up becoming available to the public. Which is great, should you be planning on any recreational alpinism in the near future—or looking for a little competitive edge at the annual company ski retreat. (This year, you’re going to crush the three-legged biathlon.)
Behold: this is what our Olympians will be wearing during the Olympics opening ceremony in Sochi.
And we must hand it to Ralph, it’s surprisingly on-trend: the slimmed-down sweatpants, the turtlenecks, the hiking boots and the pièce de résistance: a shawl-collar cardigan spangled with stars, stripes and Olympic rings. (And, yes, everything’s Made-in-America.) The patchwork cardigan has “instant classic” written all over it—we can already envision the next generation of Ralph Lauren aficionados emptying their bitcoin accounts for one on the vintage market. The production is limited to 324 pieces, so you might as well invest in yours now.
August. Tomorrow, it begins.
Which means one thing: a new crop of menswear mags has hit the newsstands. And, as always, we’re here to guide you through all 370 glossy pages of fall fashion, fresh faces and varying degrees of Olympic excitement.
This was the scene outside Henry VIII’s Hampton Court Palace yesterday, moments after the women’s 250km cycling race blew through. Two Dutch gentlemen, the first ever to successfully pull off matching orange suits, were likely headed to a London-side victory gala for countrywoman Marianne Vos, who took gold in the race.
We suspect herring was served.
We happened upon this snap of skier Anders Johnson in Ryan McGinley’s amazing winter Olympics photospread and, after a little preliminary research, we’re ready to name him the first MOTH of the Winter Olympics. It’s got a lot to do with our enduring love of the chunky sweater, but honestly, the “never mind the snow” pose is cool enough to qualify him no matter what—especially now that large parts of the east blanketed in that same stuff. Well played, sir.
You might not know it from their ad budget, but Nike’s had brand problems for a while now. They make the right moves with the indie crowd, but they can still come off a little…evil. And their latest Chinese forays may not help. A rule of thumb: When you start calling for the heads of your critics, you may want to reconsider your PR strategy.
Gawker reports on a rumor that Nike had hurdler Liu Xiang fake an injury and drop out of the Olympic Games because of his poor chances. It’s not the most damaging rumor Nike’s faced—after all, the haters are always with us—but (as Gawker points out) they’ve come under fire for tampering before. And as bad as the scandal is, Nike’s response has been even worse. They reached out to their friends in the Chinese government to “investigate those that started the rumor,” meaning some poor blogger is about to get reeducated. A mess of back-pedaling followed, which ended up making everyone involved look worse.
Apparently not everyone shares our sanguine take on Ralph Lauren’s Olympic uniforms. In fact, so far the web response to the outfits has been positively bloodthirsty.
Gawker—a reliable snark purveyor—calls out the polo logo for upstaging the Olympic rings. It’s true that the logo makes the branding play a little more shameless than it might have been, but that’s the American way. We’re building a brand here! This is for the good of the nation!
Scrambling for more angry voices, Gawker quotes a commenter on a fairly benign Project Rungay post, saying “They made the team look like a 1948 yacht club.” But, of course, that’s the whole point.
And, in case you were curious about the other, more hallucinatory parts of the pageantry, you can catch a colorful overview here.
Photos of the Ralph Lauren-designed U. S. Olympic Uniforms have finally surfaced, and we have to say, we’re pretty impressed. We had held out hope for a preppy Olympic team, and it looks like we won’t be disappointed. From the stark white slacks to the striped cloth belts, these athletes look like they’re heading across the Pacific in yachts. We’re reasonably sure Beijing has never seen anything like it.
Well played, Mr. Lauren. Well played.
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