SBD/November 3, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship

Hudson's Bay Debuts Canadian Olympic Apparel Line For London Games

Apparel will feature red and white from flag, accented by green, black and grey
The Canadian Olympic team -- about 320 athletes and 250 support staff -- will “march into the London Olympics wearing a combination of traditional Maple Leaf shirts and showing off a new Olympic patch collection which depicts Canadian landscapes, animals and sports,” according to James Christie of the GLOBE & MAIL. The Hudson's Bay Co. yesterday “unveiled the 29-piece athlete kit,” and the jackets, pants, leisure clothes and accessories are “in the strong colours of red and white found on the flag, accented by green, black and grey.” The patches -- which are “a novel element in uniform design -- are loaded with Canadian iconography, from beavers, to deer, owls, maple leaves and coniferous trees.” This year’s “novelty is the patches, borrowed from the idea of Canada patches sewn onto travellers’ backpacks.” Also included in the collection are “two patches dedicated to the 2012 Canadian Olympic Team -- one in English, one in French.” The original patches will be “incorporated into many of the apparel designs and will also be available for sale separately.” A Maple Leaf Canada graphic “features the word Canada arched within the shape of a maple leaf” (GLOBE & MAIL, 11/3). The collection “includes windbreakers, varsity-style track jackets, T-shirts and sweats,” and is “priced from $15 to $100.” Hudson's Bay said that the new line “represents iconic Canadian looks and is a modernized hybrid of some of the country’s best uniforms” (TORONTO STAR, 11/3).

CLEARLY CANADIAN: The CP reported the designs “are a departure from the approach used for the 2008 Summer Games in Beijing, when the pieces fused Canadian and Chinese symbols and influences.” Hudson's Bay VP/Fashion Direction Suzanne Timmins said, "What we learned from Beijing -- which was very much a nod to the host city and country -- was that didn't work." However, Timmins “didn't rule out the possibility of incorporating a taste of Britain in future designs sold commercially closer to the Games, such as Union Jack T-shirts or garments that merge influences from Canada and Britain.” But she added that the athletes “will only be wearing the Canadian flag” (CP, 11/2).
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