Lululemon launches very first uniforms for Olympic athletes

Canadian athletes will strut their stuff at the 2022 Winter Olympics wearing trendy red trapper hats.

Today, Lululemon is showing off her looks for Team Canada ahead of the Beijing Winter Games, which kick off in February 2022. These are the first outfits the Vancouver track giant has designed in a deal to to outfit Canadian Olympians and Paralympians for the next four Games, until 2028. The first collection allows Lululemon to show off his skill in creating stylish clothing that also keeps athletes comfortable, thanks to a system which can be adjusted to the wearer’s needs.

Paul PoirerPiper Gilles[Photo: courtesy Lululemon]

Lululemon’s design team has given a lot of thought to the history of Olympic apparel, says Audrey Reilly, Creative Director of Special Projects at Lululemon, who led Team Canada’s kit design. In the past, opening ceremony outfits were inspired by military uniforms – with blazers and berets – to give the team a cohesive look. Reilly wanted to create cohesion among Canadian athletes, but also wanted them to tailor their outfits to their personal style and comfort. “At the opening ceremony we want them to look like a united front as a team, but we also want them to be comfortable in this four to six hour ceremony,” Reilly said. . “Our dressing system allows them to think about their own personal thermal comfort in the Bird’s Nest stadium in Beijing.”

Since 2018, Lululemon has developed a design philosophy called Science of Feel, which takes into account the subjective experience of athletes at any given time, both in terms of their body’s reaction to an activity and how they want to. to feel emotionally. The team reflected on how to apply this approach to the Olympics. They spent 18 months working with Canadian athletes, discussing how they wanted to feel throughout the two and a half weeks of the Games. The designers even worked in cold rooms, seeing how they felt when their body temperature rose in freezing conditions.

[Photo: courtesy Lululemon]

Ultimately, Lululemon developed a modular system that allows athletes to modify parts to suit their personal needs: for example, an insulated vest can be made into three lengths by unzipping the two bottom panels; the jackets have zippers that let in air for ventilation. “We have developed a theory around ‘thermal identity’, explains Reilly. “Each athlete has a unique response to their environment and to the tissues that are next to their skin. So we wanted [design] a smart layering system that would allow them to personalize what they wear at any time.

Brigitte Lacquette [Photo: courtesy Lululemon]

Lululemon designers have created more than 30 garments to fulfill this mandate. They can be layered in various ways for events throughout the Games. Most pieces come in five different shades of red, derived from the color of the Canadian flag, designed to be worn together. Some pieces feature an abstract print inspired by the maple leaf, the country’s national symbol, seen under a microscope. For the closing ceremony, the athletes will wear a similar outfit, but in ivory. Although Lululemon does not currently make any shoes, the design team have created special hiking boots in red and ivory to complete the look. And of course there is a modernized trapper hat reminiscent of the Canadian loggers who first wore them.

Dawn Richardson Wilson [Photo: courtesy Lululemon]

Since 2005, the Canadian chain of Hudson’s Bay department stores has equipped Team Canada. At the Tokyo 2020 Games, the company gave the athletes a decidedly relaxed look with graffiti spray-painted denim jackets, as well as bright red tracksuits. With this debut look, Lululemon seems to bring a higher aesthetic to athletes, in line with her high-end streetwear line called Lab, which she ditched in 2019.

Frederique Turgeon [Photo: courtesy Lululemon]

Starting today, Canadian Lululemon customers will be able to purchase clothing inspired by the Official Olympic Kit online and in-store, at prices ranging from $ 38 to $ 548. The brand will periodically offer new pieces until the Winter Games. In the United States, Lululemon will sell pieces similar to this collection, but not having the inscription “Canada” on them.

Liam hickey[Photo: courtesy Lululemon]

Lululemon is already thinking about the 2024 Summer Games, which will take place in Paris. (The next Winter and Summer Games will be held in Milan and Los Angeles, respectively.) Reilly and her team say they plan to continue with a similar aesthetic, but tailored to each city’s particular climate. “Creating this first collection was very critical,” says Reilly. “This body of work represents how we will present ourselves as a brand as the official outfitter for Team Canada. But we will evolve the look according to the environments and the mood of each city.

Naomi C. Amerson