The Summer Olympics is focused on athleticism and sporting events, but one shouldn’t ignore the best fashion moments at the 2021 Olympics. How style plays a role in the games was evident during the opening ceremony when each country walked out in their incredible team uniforms. Viewers were finally able to witness Telfar Clemens’ outfit designs for Liberia while Twitter users had plenty of thoughts on Ralph Lauren’s looks for Team U.S.A. Japanese singer Misia stunned the audience with her dress when she sang Japan’s national anthem in a rainbow-colored number from Tomo Koizumi. Aside from that statement look, there were plenty of other under-the-radar fashion moments you might’ve missed.
For one, during training sessions, Team U.S.A.’s gymnastics outfits were bedazzled with 3,500 Swarovski crystals and each one-piece was custom-made for the women. (This was all done just for training, so keep your eye out for the team’s actual amazing leotards during the competition.) Ahead of the opening ceremony, First Lady Dr. Jill Biden had her own fashion moment as well. She was one of the few world leaders who was able to attend the games and for her first photo op, she wore a classic polka dot dress from Brandon Maxwell. Enough with the spoilers though, check out the most noteworthy fashion looks from the 2021 Olympics so far, ahead. Don’t forget to bookmark this post, too, as it will be updated with more style moments as they happen.
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American fashion house Ralph Lauren has designed Team U.S.A.’s parade outfits for every Olympics since 2008. For this year’s games, the label introduced eco-friendly uniforms for the opening ceremony. The navy blazer was made from wool grown in the U.S. while the striped T-shirts were treated by Ecofast Pure (an advanced pre-treatment solution by Dow that allows cotton to be dyed with less water, chemicals, and energy). Meanwhile, the team’s striped belts were made from REPREVE, a brand that makes fiber out of post-consumer plastic bottles and pre-consumer waste. The ensembles, as a whole, gave off patriotic vibes that weren’t overly flashy.
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Liberian-American designer Telfar Clemens continues to disrupt the fashion landscape. He ventured into sportswear by designing the outfits for the Liberian Olympic athletes. Clemens has created 70 genderless pieces, including sweats, leggings, unitards, shorts, and track spikes. All the items will feature the Liberian flag and Telfar’s logo. If you want to own a piece of history, limited-edition athletic pieces inspired by the Olympics will be available to shop on Clemens’ website. A larger line encompassing workout clothes and sports gear will drop in September and become part of the brand’s core offerings.
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If Team U.S.A. has Ralph Lauren, then Italy’s designer of choice is Giorgio Armani. Italy’s athletes walked out during the opening ceremony while wearing special red, white, and green EA7 Emporio Armani uniforms. The luxury label has been creating looks for the team since London’s Summer Olympics in 2012. For fans, you can purchase the garments worn by the team on Armani’s website.
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Japanese singer and songwriter Misia performed the Japanese national anthem, “Kimi Ga Yo,” at the opening ceremony. For her on-stage look, she wore a colorful candy-colored dress from Tomo Koizumi. The designer is known for creating colorful, larger-than-life tulle attire, which has quickly garnered a fashion fan base. For reference, actor Sophie Turner wore one of Koizumi’s fantasy dresses from his Fall/Winter 2019 collection in the Jonas Brothers music video “Sucker.”
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During the women’s podium training, Team U.S.A.’s gymnasts practiced their moves while wearing Swarowski-bedazzled leotards courtesy of GK Elite. The sporting company is the official apparel sponsor for the national team and has designed the team’s olympic leotards since 2000. The athletes donned two different leotards, black and purple, which were each custom-made for the woman wearing it. Each one-piece featured approximately 3,500 Swarovski crystals and costs anywhere from $700 to $1,200. Aspiring gymnasts can shop a replica of the Olympic leotards right now for under $100, though.
During podium training, Germany’s Olympic gymnastic team wore full-length unitards instead of traditional leotards. This was done to combat sexualization in the sport and highlight the sexism that exists for women and what they wear. “We wanted to show that every woman, everybody, should decide what to wear,” said team member Elisabeth Seitz to Time. The team’s powerful stance on their uniforms could not have come at a better time in the sporting world. Just this week, Norway’s women’s beach handball team was fined for wearing shorts and not bikini bottoms at the European Beach Handball Championship.