Wednesday, November 4, 2009

I stand corrected, Ralph Lauren throws it back to the 30s and apparently we're hackers...

So, apparently I stand corrected! When I was in Vancouver on Sunday and took the photo posted below of the Olympic countdown clock which read 131 days until the Olympics, it was wrong. Because today, the news and The Bay in their email to me (me specifically don't you know) announced that there was only 100 more days until the start of the 2010 Winter Games! Well that's dandy, but does VANOC know? And is this a sign of things to come? Brace yourself Vancouver, brace yourself...

In other Olympic related news today, Team USA revealed its uniform/gear for the Games - 1930s inspired pieces created by Ralph Lauren. They are nice, if not a little plain but what I particularly do not like about them and quite frankly find Mr. Lauren to have exercised poor taste, is that they are festooned with the enigmatic branding of polo player and horse and his initials. I think the term I'm looking for is... egotistically tacky?

America’s Olympians are representatives of America. They are representatives of their respective sports and they are representatives of their states, towns and families. They are not representatives nor models employed by Ralph Lauren Polo & Co. And while Mr. Lauren’s rise to fashion world stardom and riches follows the story of the ‘American dream’, I wonder if his designs and logo strewn clothing is representative of America and American athletes going about their daily lives outside of Manhattan? Moreover, given the economic climate and the hardships many Americans have faced over the last 12-18 months, how inviting and broadly representative are these portable symbols of athletic and sporting pride when the men’s sweater pictured below is priced at $385 and the women’s is priced at $165...i mean, really?



(BTW, what is up with Ralphie cutting off people's heads? We already have headless manikins, are models next? How will they smoke to stay so thin?)

America’s Olympic strengthen has always been in the actual matter and substance of the Games, athletic prowess, but if the US Olympic Committee and teams want their compatriots to take a more active part and investment in their athletes and their organization, than they need to bring the Games to the masses - and one way would be through broadly appealing and affordable branding. I simply see can't large segments of the population with 'Get R Done' bumper stickers picking up one of these jaunty sweaters...just saying…

Anyways, Ralph Lauren rant aside (and please note I do generally enjoy Mr. Lauren’s clothier creations), an update on the American Speed Skating Team and the Colbert Nation!!! Apparently, Canada is to blame for the initial technical difficulties the donation page experienced in its first 24 hours… Stephen said that the donation links had been removed and a note reading, "Sorry about this" had been left in their place – ergo, the politeness of the note meant that we North of the 49th Parallelers must have been to blame…good times ;) However, all was not lost, as Monsieur Colbert announced last night that with technical difficulties resolved, a healthy sum of $40,000 had been raised already! Awesome!!! I think this is very exciting and a fantastic way to get that buy-in from the general public that I mentioned above. They, the skating team, too have been hit by the economic fallout of market-speculation-gone-wild and need more than a vintage/WASPY-esque uniform to get through the Games. And by the by, I wonder what Monsieur Colbert thinks of the new threads?

Lastly, and just for total clarity, while I support the Colbert Nation in their support for the American Speed Skating Team, once the opening ceremonies start, its red-and-white-maple-leaf pride all the way baby! I will be rooting for the home team!

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