New York, NY (STL.News) In honor of the 2018 Winter Olympics from Pyeongchang, South Korea, it is important to not only admire the incredible athletes, but also the renowned designer that dresses the USA team every Olympic season.
There is arguably, no designer more “Americana” than Ralph Lauren. From the renowned polo shirts that come in every color of the rainbow adorned with the polo player and horse logo, to slacks, chambray shirts, his athletic line, and to the summer dresses perfect for the 4th of July and Memorial Day weekend celebrations. It comes as no surprise as to why Ralph Lauren has been the official designer of the U.S. Olympic team for the past decade.
However, what does come as a surprise is the implementation of the first heated jacket in the U.S. Olympic ensemble. Technology and fashion have always worked synonymously from the first sewing machine in the late 19th century to new synthetic materials that emerged in the mid to late 20th century. Thus far, the 21st century has seen the emergence of 3-D printing in fashion, computers and machines that create unique textiles from the screen to physical material, apps that can scan clothing and pinpoint its origin and similar items, and heat technology. Heat technology has been an emerging “hot” topic and trend in fashion for the past few years, so it is a giant step in the industry for Ralph Lauren to be using the concept on such a global scale.
SLEEK YET SPORTY
Ralph Lauren has introduced a heated, battery-powered parka, made of thin and flexible material that can even be crumpled and yes, washed. The hooded jacket looks like any other patriotic design expected from the designer, with red, white, and blue stripes, the American flag, polo logo, and the Olympic rings decaled.
So how does the jacket work? Bet you weren’t expecting to hear ink, as the answer. Heat flows through the back of the jacket through conductive carbon and silver ink in the shape of none other, than an American flag. The ink is electronically printed onto the jacket that connects to the interior lining. Of course for power, there is a thin power cord with the Polo logo that is removable and battery rechargeable. The battery has glove friendly buttons that turn the heat on and off, as well as controls for the temperature for low and high heat as well.
What is also impressive about the heated parka is that from the start of the innovational concept, to the material and the gadgets, all were created in the U.S. All 700 Olympic athletes, coaches, and staff received a jacket and a closing ceremony bomber as well, which also possesses the heat technology.
Despite these jackets being prototypes, the company did release a select amount of pieces in Ralph Lauren stores, retailing at $2,495. Less than 100 jackets were for sale, and the jacket is now completely sold out. However, do not worry, Ralph Lauren plans to utilize the technology in the future if you care to have a jacket just like your favorite athlete.