Olympic athletes now wear luxury brands when competing

The Olympics are a lot for a lot of people. The preeminent sports competition in the world … A political machine used for soft power diplomacy … In 2021, it is a much needed distraction from the COVID-19 pandemic. It is also a giant marketing exercise.

Brands of all shapes and sizes compete just as fiercely as Olympic athletes for endorsements, sponsorships and media coverage. This is especially true when it comes to outfitting national sports teams, especially successful ones. From Adidas and ASICS to Nike and New Balance, getting Olympic teams to wear your logo is big business for sportswear brands.

However, this is increasingly becoming an area in which luxury brands also want to compete. Of course, luxury brands and designers have always been present at the Olympics: Ralph Lauren has long designed the opening ceremonial outfits for Team USA, as has Giorgio Armani for Team Italy, for example.

But Tokyo 2020 (or should it be 2021?) Has seen a paradigm shift, where athletes are actually competing by wearing luxury brands, instead of just wearing them for the opening / closing or closing ceremonies. awarding of medals.

A pair of Golden Goose Ball Star Pros “A Dreamer From Venice” by Cory Juneau, priced at 490 € (they are all sold out now). Notice the text ‘Tokyo Olympics’ on the tongue… And yes, they come out of the factory like that. Image: Golden Goose

A notable example is American bronze medalist in skateboarding Cory Juneau, who competed in his events with Golden Goose sneakers on his feet. This is the first time Golden Goose, an Italian luxury shoe brand known for its iconic ‘distressed’ aesthetic whose sneakers start at around AU $ 600, has supported an athlete.

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This is part of a larger trend of luxury brands looking to promote skateboarding: for example, Louis Vuitton made waves last year by signing Jamaican-British pro Lucien Clarke (known for his long association with the brand cult of streetwear Palace) as the very first sponsored athlete. Skateboarding culture has a disproportionate influence on fashion as a whole, so it’s no surprise that brands like LV and Golden Goose want to step into this space. But this is another story…

Another fashion brand that dominated discussions at Tokyo 2020 was Telfar, the namesake imprint of Liberian-American designer Telfar Clemens, most famous for his cult handbag which has been dubbed “the Bushwick Birkin”.

In a world first, Telfar became the team and apparel sponsor of Team Liberia, the talented designer creating a unique and luxurious visual identity for the athletes of the small country. It was transformative for the team – as well as for Clemens himself, who said The New York Times “It’s important to me on several levels. “

Joseph Fahnbulleh of Team Liberia (R) competing in the men’s 200m semi-final on day 11 of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on August 3, 2021. Image: Getty

Liberia, a country of just 5.2 million people, has never won an Olympic medal and has had to find sponsorship dollars in the past. as well as one of the escape stories from the games.

RELATED: Here’s How to Become an Olympian While Making the Least Effort

The next Olympic Games are only three years away, and it’s in Paris, the fashion capital of the world. One wonders if more luxury brands, inspired by the examples of Golden Goose, Telfar and others, will emerge in the field of competition.

We just want to see a renaissance of the iconic Oakley sunglasses OVERTHETOP Trinidadian sprinter Ato Boldon rocked at the 2000 Sydney Olympics…

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