Team GB athletes will participate in the Tokyo Olympics in a heat-resistant uniform designed to celebrate “unity in diversity” and, in a nod to the host city, is emblazoned with the words “Great Britain” in Japanese typography. .
The new uniform, unveiled Thursday morning by Team GB and ParalympicsGB athletes including Max Whitlock and Olivia Breen, also contains a prominent splash of red, a striking departure from the uniform designed by Stella McCartney in 2012 and 2016, which a It was often criticized for being too blue.
The new designs, created by Adidas’ in-house team, also feature HEAT.RDY technology, which the company says is built with cooling material and textures optimized for use in hot environments. That was particularly well received by British Olympic Association Executive Director Andy Anson, who said it would help GB athletes perform better in Tokyo.
“The team is brilliant,” he told The Guardian. “I think athletes will love it and perform well in it, and that’s the most important thing. We know that Tokyo is going to be very hot and humid, so we have worked closely with Adidas to make sure we have the right technology in the kit to maximize performance.
“Despite the incredibly difficult times society has faced this year, everyone associated with Team GB has remained positive and focused, especially our athletes who have worked incredibly hard to keep their dream of going to the Olympic Games alive. Tokyo, ”he added. “Seeing the kit for the first time is always one of the most exciting moments before the Olympics, and for the past four decades, Adidas has done a fantastic job of keeping it fresh and innovative.”
The new design was also welcomed by Mike Sharrock, executive director of the British Paralympic Association, who said that while Tokyo 2020 was going to be the toughest Games yet, given the global pandemic, “our athletes will be prepared, wearing a uniform that not only does it look great but it incorporates the best in innovation and technology. “
Team GB’s new design also includes a deconstructed Union flag, while the emphasis on union can be seen on the people’s hoodie, which Adidas says has a design mixed with the British lion and iconic floral symbols. of the four nations in bold colors. giving a contemporary finish to a classic style ”. The kit also contains a minimum of 40% recycled materials.
Explaining the inspiration for the uniform, Adidas said: “After a year of uncertainty, unprecedented challenges and unique circumstances, the athletes of Team GB and ParalympicsGB will rise together in a uniform that represents unity in diversity.”
Melina Hartmann, Adidas Design Director, added: “Through experimentation and dedication, each piece in the collection highlights the extent to which we have pushed the boundaries of contemporary design, innovation and sustainability. We hope that all athletes feel that they can make their mark as individuals and as a team by wearing the uniform at the Games this summer. ”
Team GB apparel is available at www.adidas.co.uk/teamgb.
Kit not merch: Morwenna Ferrier’s fashion verdict
In the past Olympics, the presentation of the GB kit has become a cultural moment. Partly because Stella McCartney, queen of sustainable leisure wear, has designed the last two. Partly because there is usually a star-studded press conference and a big reveal. And partly because they are the things that fans can buy. If the opening ceremony is the catwalk of the sport, then the Olympic kit is your couture merchandise.
Take off McCartney and the presentation, and what you have for 2021 is a functional kit designed only by Adidas and Adidas. Simple, understated, and perhaps a bit boring, your goal is to make a diplomatic statement rather than a fad. To crown an already uncertain year in which the Games are still hanging by a thread, not to mention the domino effects of Brexit and the push for Scottish independence, it seems fitting that the kit’s message is simply ‘unity in diversity’.
The kit features the usual basic lineup: vests, tees, shorts, hoodies and leggings, and a handful of ceremonial podium pieces that are stylish but look too warm for sunny Tokyo weather. Some pieces are marked with the words “Great Britain” in a large font that is almost runway-inspired (large vertical logos are a trademark of Off White). Other pieces are adorned with a “deconstructed Union flag,” which actually means blue, white, and red shapes in an abstract formation, nodding (seems) to Japanese design. A lion graphic is visible in some. National flowers of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland in others. It’s Britain’s trademark by numbers.
Bells and whistles come through technology. Since these are the most popular games ever, the kit features something called HEAT.RDY technology. In layman’s terms, that means materials and textures designed to cool you down at high speed. It is also sustainable, as it should be in 2021, using two different materials: PRIMEGREEN, which is 40% recycled, and PRIMEBLU, a yarn that uses at least 50% Parley Ocean Plastic. Since McCartney is one of the best designers in sustainability, his legacy apparently lives on.
Some Olympic kits have been criticized for leaning too far towards fashion: remember Ralph Lauren’s patchwork cardigans for Sochi? You just have to look at Ralph Lauren’s USA 2021 kit, with its NASA hue, or Canada’s decision to incorporate a denim jacket, to know that sometimes boring is best. The GB kit is sportswear, not leisure wear. Non-merchandising kit. But in a world already fatigued by sweatpants, both in fashion and for office workers forced to give up their suits, it’s a welcome return to sportswear too.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism