London 2012 Watch: Prada, Armani, McCartney and Lauren Go for the Gold

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Big-name fashion designers are flocking to the Olympics this summer, with host country talent Stella McCartney leading the way, in partnership with Adidas, as the chief designer for the United Kingdom’s squad. There have been a few naysayers to McCartney’s designs, but fashion designers have got to be pretty used to that by the time they hit the big-time.

Now word comes, via the Telegraph, that Prada is getting into the Olympics gear, designing uniforms for Italy’s Olympic and Paralympic sailing teams.[more]

“We are extremely proud to have Prada as a sponsor, the Prada brand is not just a flagship of Italy worldwide, but it has always been very closely connected to our sport and has nearly become synonymous with major sailing challenges,” stated Carlo Croce, president of the Italian Sailing Federation. Prada will be sharing the spotlight at this summer’s Olympic games with a rival Italian brand: Armani.

The official Italian Olympic team will be outfitted in Giorgio Armani’s sleek EA7 sporting gear:

The American team will once again sport preppy looks from Ralph Lauren (see below) at the opening and closing ceremonies, expanding on the brand’s designs for the 2008 Beijing Olympics (which raised a few eyebrows) and Vancouver’s 2010 Olympics.

As the Telegraph points out, though, not every team is so lucky to have a seasoned fashion brand’s design chops: The Australians “unveiled a teal and gold uniform with an ‘acid buzz’ trim (read: fluorescent green) and excessive rushing,” the paper sniffed. The Aussie press, naturally, has defended the “light and bright” gear that will be outfitting some 800 athletes in London this summer. That’s the Olympic spirit!

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