fashion in the 2022 beijing winter olympics


photo: vytautas dranginis on unsplash *links below

On Feb. 4, Beijing’s National Stadium hosted athletes from around the world who gathered to represent their countries at the Opening Ceremony of the 2022 Winter Olympics. Under sparkling lights and fireworks, the huge arena united 84 participating nations. After countries recently competed this past summer in the 2021 Tokyo Summer Olympics, which were postponed from 2020, the night in Beijing marked a thrilling, on-schedule return to large-scale global competitions. 



Not only do the Olympics showcase the world’s best amatueur athletes, but the games also present some of the best intersections between the realms of fashion, culture and athletics. During the opening ceremonies, teammates dress in unison, allowing each country to cohesively and uniquely represent their home country to the rest of the world. 


Seasoned Olympic designer Ralph Lauren designed Team USA’s opening ceremony looks, pairing red, white and blue parkas with matching pants and lace-up boots. Giorgio Armani took a more direct approach when designing for Team Italy, decking the athletes out in high-collar ponchos printed with the Italian flag. Representing their country from yet a different angle, Lanny Smith, a former basketball player  and founder of the activewear brand Actively Black, dressed Team Nigeria with traditional agbadas (robes) with matching geles (head ties) in the country’s colors, green and white. China’s flag bearers wore icy-blue puffer coats designed by Chinese-born designer Feng Chen Wang, while the rest of the home team’s athletes wore elegant red trench coats and furry bucket hats. With various perspectives and representation, the opening ceremony exemplifies the ability of fashion to communicate culture and patriotism. 


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A post shared by Team USA (@teamusa)


In addition to the ceremony looks, many teams have brands that sponsor their clothing for the duration of the Olympics. Kim Kardashian’s brand SKIMS provided Team USA with underwear, loungewear and sleepwear. For South Korea, The North Face designed several looks, featuring a puffer jacket printed with a design of Korea’s Taebaek mountains. Other notable brand-country affiliations include Adidas for Germany, Lululemon for Canada and Uniqlo for Sweden.


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In performance, some athletes even personally partnered with fashion brands to design their athleticwear. In his final Olympic year, Team USA’s snowboarder Shaun White competes in style, sporting a Louis Vuitton snowboard and matching trunk, which he collaborated with Vuitton’s late creative director Virgil Abloh to combine Louis Vuitton’s signature sophistication with the personality of his own brand, Whitespace. Prada created several looks for snow-wear, designing for Team USA’s snowboarder Julia Marino and Team Great Britain’s skier Gus Kenworthy. 


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A post shared by Shaun White (@shaunwhite)


With many opportunities to create looks suitable for ceremonies, everyday wear and athletic performance, the Olympic games bring into question the importance of athleticwear and its functionality. Rather, the Olympics pose an extreme example of aesthetic fashion that also holds high levels of serviceability, whether it be in figure skating costumes or snowboarding equipment. Though the mass consumer population are not all top athletes, most consumers want at least some level of functionality in their clothing, particularly in the post-pandemic rise of athleisure. In this way, brands can use the Olympics as an opportunity to prove their abilities in creating athletic wear, designing for style but ultimately for serviceability. As the 2022 Games come to a close, consumers can see how brands utilize this global event to promote themselves, and brand affiliations with athletes of different nationalities showcase a cultural representation of pride and patriotism through the lens of fashion.


*Featured Image Credit: Photo by Vytautas Dranginis on Unsplash 


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Hi, I’m Grace Avery, the Editor In Chief of A Magazine. My staff and I are committed to bringing you the most important and entertaining news from the realms of fashion, beauty and culture. We are full-time students and hard-working journalists. While we get support from the student media fee and earned revenue such as advertising, both of those continue to decline. Your generous gift of any amount will help enhance our student experience as we grow into working professionals. Please go here to donate to A Magazine.