January 31, 2014

In the Olympic Spirit

With the Opening Ceremony for the 2014 Winter Olympics just days away, I thought I would share a great story about how the Ralph Lauren Opening Ceremony Sweater came to be.

This story starts right here in Oregon, on the Imperial Stock Ranch, which has been raising sheep and cattle for over one hundred forty years. In 1999 they began selling the ranch’s raw wool by creating and selling premium wool yarns. As a spin off of the historic Imperial Stock Ranch, Imperial Yarn was born.  Once a year the luxurious wool is harvested, custom milled, and sold across the country and beyond.

In July of 2012, Ranch owner Jeanne Carver received a call from someone in product development at Ralph Lauren. Soon after, designers from Ralph Lauren came to visit Imperial Ranch, touring the facilities, historic buildings and landscape. After a few sample orders, they eventually placed a production order for a "special project", and eventually Jeanne learned that the yarn would be used for the sweaters being made for Team USA and the Olympic Opening Ceremony. 

And that is the abridged version of how this sweater came to be (read the full story here). This sweater is sourced, designed and manufactured all in the United States of America. 

Some have criticized it for being similar to an "Ugly Christmas Sweater". I, however, think it is fantastic. This is meant to be a showpiece, a costume of sorts. Having attended the Opening Ceremony at the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics, I can tell you that what the athletes wear NEEDS to stand out, not only for TV but also for the live audience. 

So here it is, in all its American glory! 

images from 
So let the games begin!

1 comment:

  1. I think the sweater is great too, but I hate how the "Polo" brand is front and center on the left shawl collar. Very tacky.