The opening ceremony for the Olympic Games in Tokyo is bound to be a spectacle to remember, but we won’t know what that spectacle entails until the pomp and circumstance gets underway next week — with one exception.
When it comes time for Team USA to step into the spotlight during the event, we now know exactly what to expect.
On Wednesday morning, Ralph Lauren unveiled the uniforms the athletes will wear when they make their debut and we got the first look on TODAY.
“Team USA’s 2020 Opening Ceremony Parade Uniform is a classic all-American look that incorporates sustainable materials within each piece,” a press release from the American fashion brand read.
That look includes a navy blazer, a stripped T-shirt, a flag-printed scarf, slim-fit jeans, a striped belt, a cotton mask and coordinating shoes that feature more red, white and blue. The flag bearer will stand out both by carrying the stars and stripes and by being the only one in the crowd wearing a white denim jacket.
But as mentioned in the press release, there’s more than meets the eye in those casual designs.
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The T-shirt is “powered by ECOFAST Pure, an advanced pre-treatment solution by Dow that enables cotton to be dyed with less water, chemicals and energy.” The belt is made from a material called Repreve, which is a “recycled polyester derived from plastic water bottles.” And even the patch on the back of the jeans is special, made of “MIRUM, an innovative leather-alternative material made from renewable resources that is free of synthetic plastics.”
In addition to wool and cotton components grown in the United States, all of the uniforms are manufactured in the U.S., too.
And there's another item that will set the flag bearer apart from the crowd — RL Cooling, a wearable and self-regulating cooling device developed by Ralph Lauren to combat the heat of summer in Tokyo.
We got a chance to see the new designs up close on TODAY Wednesday. Our very own Sheinelle Jones and Dylan Dreyer suited up to model the opening ceremony uniforms, and BMX gold medalist Connor Fields joined them and offered a peek at that cooling technology, which is hidden in the back of the jacket.
"When you're at the opening ceremonies, you're there for 4, 5, 6 hours, and in Japan, that's going to be very hot and humid," Fields said, adding that the "little air-conditioner" promises to "keep the flag bearer cool while they're holding the flag."
Ralph Lauren has been the official outfitter for Team USA since 2008.
Wednesday’s big reveal comes three months after the brand gave Olympic enthusiasts a glimpse at what Team USA would wear for the closing ceremony in Tokyo.
And while those uniforms contain many of the same sustainable components, the look is completely different, with a mostly white ensemble topped with a drawstring jacket which prominently features the American flag.
The entire collection is available for purchase at RalphLauren.com and TeamUSAShop.com, as well as in select Ralph Lauren retail stores. Royalties from sales of the Polo Ralph Lauren Team USA Collection go to the United States Olympic and Paralympic teams.