SBD/October 31, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship

Canada Olympic Uniforms By Hudson's Bay Unveiled With Vintage Look, Modern Touches

The official uniforms for Canada's '14 Olympic teams yesterday were unveiled in downtown Toronto "at a packed media event hosted by the Canadian Olympic Committee and designer-supplier Hudson’s Bay," according to Deirdre Kelly of the GLOBE & MAIL. More than a dozen Olympic and Paralympic athletes "modelled the uniforms, which combine vintage-looking design with modern touches such as tailored silhouettes and stylized images of beavers, polar bears and loons." Team Canada will wear the uniforms "during public ceremonies and inside the athletes’ village." It will not be "competing in them, although they were designed to foster confidence." Canadian Paralympic Committee President Gaétan Tardif said that the Paralympic uniforms were "especially designed for ease of movement." Tardif said, "I am really convinced that our Canadian athletes will be the best dressed team in Sochi. We will be the envy of the world." Kelly notes the uniforms "are being manufactured in Canada, although similar items produced for sale to the public will be made offshore." Olympic uniforms in both Canada and the U.S. have been "criticized in recent years for being produced outside their respective countries." Hudson’s Bay was "careful to avoid that kind of controversy this time around, emphasizing patriotism." The company's relationship with the COC "will extend" to '20 (GLOBE & MAIL, 10/31).

MIXING IT UP: Hudson's Bay VP/Design Hilary Kelley said that the company "sought to do something somewhat different with the current crop of Olympic designs, suggesting the collection channels influences from traditional sport clothing and vintage sport." The new designs "as always ... flaunt Canada's colours, though this time adding black." The "teaming of multiple shades within one garment" known as color-blocking "is a prominent theme in the new line." Items such as T-shirts, knit sweaters and hoodies "feature logos in one colour with sleeves and other accents in complementary shades." The "Canada" vintage wordmark "sees the country's name emblazoned in bold lettering across the front of several garments as well as some colourful" knit caps in the collection (CP, 10/30).
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