At the 1900 Olympic Games in Paris 997 athletes competed in 19 different sports. Women particpated for the first time. American athletes pose in the Bois de Boulogne, one of the largest parks in Paris.
On July 23, millions of people around the world will tune in to see the 2020 Olympic Games opening ceremony, which kick off the delayed Tokyo games. From gymnastics and track and field to fencing and more, it’s a wonder to watch these world-class athletes in action.
With a history that dates back to 776 BC at Olympia in Southern Greece, the Olympic Games that we know began in 1896 in Athens with 280 athletes, representing 13 countries.
For many, seeing the competitors in their uniforms, especially during the opening and closing ceremonies adds to the Olympics allure. In the 1970s, the athletes were decked out in Halston jackets and cool neck scarves. Then came the 1980s when they wore jeans from Levi Strauss & Co. Inspired by the “Great Out West” athletes donned shearling jackets, mittens and cowboy hats.
Since 2008, Ralph Lauren has been designing Team USA uniforms for the opening and closing ceremonies. This year, the uniforms for the closing ceremony parade gives a special nod to the earth. The apparel collection for the 2020 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic teams was created to include more sustainable materials and manufacturing practices.
Ralph Lauren developed and invested in groundbreaking innovations for sustainable materials and manufacturing technologies that significantly reduces the amount of water, chemicals and energy used compared to traditional dye processes. Additionally, they are using MIRUM, a revolutionary leather alternative material made from renewable resources that include plant-based materials and agricultural byproducts and is a solution that is free of synthetic plastics. (Elements from the collection can be purchased on ralphlauren.com, in select Ralph Lauren retail stores and online at TeamUSAShop.com.)
In fact, several designers have gotten on board. “As the Olympic and Paralympic Games welcome sports like BMX, surfing and skateboarding, working with brands that appeal to younger generations is a natural evolution for us,” said Peter Zeytoonjian, senior vice president of consumer products at U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Properties. “Everyone and every style is seen at the Games. World class brands like Nike, Ralph Lauren, Oakley, KITH and SKIMS are creating Team USA collections to reach all fans.”
Much has changed since 1896. Take a look at how Olympic styles have evolved through the decades!