Changing China

Giant on the move

Chinese bloggers see red at Olympic outfits – but do clothes matter?

July 30, 2008

China uniforms

With just over a week until the Olympics’ opening ceremony, athletes around the world are collecting their team outfits — and many Chinese bloggers are not happy with theirs, describing the red and yellow blazers, yellow and red shirts and multicoloured ties as resembling tomato scrambled egg, a popular Chinese dish.

When the uniforms were unveiled last week, designer Liu Ruiqi was quoted as saying: “When the Chinese delegation comes out, they will certainly catch the eyes of the audience.” That, it appears, is being achieved already.

“Color definitely must have red and yellow, but this design is too awful, like peasants coming to the city,” wrote one blogger, referring to the fact that red and yellow are seen as lucky colours in China .

“The key is to look at other countries’ uniforms and you will know how disgusting this is,” wrote another blogger.

Some, however, thought the design was good, or at least original.

“They look good actually, very different from what you usually see. It’s actually ORIGINAL!” wrote William on a Facebook discussion titled: “Chinese Olympic Outfits: Ridiculous and Awesome.” 

The design was chosen from thousands of entries in a competition and chosen by Shanghai-based Hengyuanxiang Company Ltd, a leading Chinese wool producer and clothing retailer, one of the sponsors of the Games.

U.S. athletes are being dressed by Polo Ralph Lauren, Canada’s team by retailer Hbc, and Brazilian athletes will be decked out in outfits designed by Rio de Janeiro-based design firm Oestudio and Sportswear brand Olympikus.

But do fans really care that much about the outfits or has it become too big a deal for an event that is about sport, not fashion?

PHOTO: Yao Ming walks past fellow athletes to join a team photograph during the official opening ceremony for the Olympic village in Beijing, July 27, 2008. REUTERS/David Gray

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