Aug 11, 2008

Ralph Lauren Has Always Sucked, But No More So Than Now

Shameful U.S. Olympics Team Opening Ceremonies Uniforms Blare Polo Brand and Ape Other Preppy Looks

No, it's not just that Ralph Lauren copied British, Italian, and other countries' proletariat looks for his design (if you can call copy-catting a design) of the US Olympic team opening ceremonies uniforms—Lauren has always been a copycat. In much the same was as Bill Gates got his start, yup, Ralph Lauren has always made his name by echoing the work of, well, others. Preppy? Hasn't it been done at UK prep schools for generations? And to choose Lauren, who has had nothing original to say in fashion ever, as the designer to represent something quintessentially American was as foolhardy as to choose Taco Bell to come up with a new dish. (Everything they make is basically a rehash of tortillas, ground beef, beans, lettuce, and cheese. How many different ways can you serve up those ingredients?)

So we got what we asked for. Blah British yacht club preppy, circa 1940s. Whoopee. And we fought the Revolutionary War so that we could still be fawning over UK style (and not fresh UK style at that)?

And Mr. Lauren had the temerity to have the uniforms made in China, not in honor of the Olympics home site but probably to save money over hiring U.S. tailors to complete the work.

But what really pisses me off is the blatant and extremely loud-American ginormous white polo pony logo on the left pocket of the blazers. How about an egotistical product endorsement that no one can miss? Should Ralph Lauren have paid extra-large sums to have his tacky logo splashed across 4 billion people's retinas? (He did pay for the exclusive design rights, but c'mon, that was cheap compared to the PR opportunity he got. )

How easily our team's uniforms could have been original, if not creative. What a waste of the enormous talents of the creative pool of U.S. artists and designers. Every time I watch an Olympics opening ceremony, I think, oh, boy, here come the usual uninspired if not boring uniforms. And instead of boring this year, the uniforms were a major embarrassment. Ralph Lauren owes our country an apology—and a refund.

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