Before the 2016 Olympic Games kick off this Friday, get a head start on what to expect (fashion-wise) at Rio this summer
While the sports events will no doubt take centre stage at the Olympics, eyes will also on the official country kits that will be donned by the athletes throughout the tournament—especially those outfitted by a renowned designer or brand. Here's a look at some of the biggest fashion names on board for the Rio Olympics:
Team Great Britain by Adidas x Stella McCartney
British designer Stella McCartney partners with Adidas once again to kit team GB for the upcoming games. While her design for London 2012 featured a somewhat abstract form of the Union Jack, this year's kit displays a new British coat of arms with rich symbolism: three lions holding up three fiery Olympic batons, flowers of the three nations on the centre shield, and a crown of medals on top. Thanks to Adidas's technology, the kit will be around 10% lighter than four years ago, made with breathable performance fabric to help athletes go further and faster.
Team USA by Polo Ralph Lauren
This marks the fifth consecutive time that Polo Ralph Lauren has designed for Team USA, building on their strong relationship that has been running since 2008. Going with an all-American theme, the team will be decked in red, white and blue. The collection of apparel is made from locally-sourced fabrics and Silicon Valley technology. At the opening ceremony, athletes will wear tailored navy blazers with the Polo Pony logo and gold buttons on top of red, white and blue striped shirts and white denim jeans.
Team Sweden by H&M
H&M joins the ranks of brands designing for their home country's summer Olympics uniforms. Doused in Sweden's national colours of blue and yellow gold, the outfits are made sporty for the occasion, coupled with the brand's modern and trendy aesthetics. They are also doing the competition outfits for selected sports, creating what Pernilla Wohlfahrt, creative director of H&M, says is a "technical, high-fashion Olympic collection with a lot of the garments made in sustainable materials such as recycled polyester".
Team Italy by Emporio Armani
Continuing his stint as official outfitter of the Italian team, Giorgio Armani designs all the formal and leisure wear for the athletes at the 2016 games. The kits include polo shirts that bear the words Fratelli d'Italia, which means Brothers of Italy. Meanwhile the tracksuits are coloured in Armani's iconic, elegant midnight blue, with a prominent EA7 logo in contrasting white that provides a graphic visual. 'Italia' is emblazoned across the back in gold—the best colour to sport at the Olympics.
Team France by Lacoste
Lacoste's artistic director Felipe Oliveira Baptista keeps it comfortable with functionality in mind. Think trench coats, hoodies, polo tees, thermal zip-up sweaters and cropped pants in a patriotic palette of red, white and marine blue—clean-cut, sporty and preppy in signature Lacoste style. Spot the crocodile logo wearing the tricolour stripes of the national flag on the kits!