Ralph Lauren is showcasing its latest fashion innovation on the world’s biggest stage.
On Wednesday, as the American heritage brand unveiled the patriotically sustainable uniforms that Team USA will sport during the Tokyo Olympics’ opening ceremony later this month, it also showed off its newest technical marvel.
The individual chosen to carry the American flag during the global games’ traditional parade of nations will be wearing Ralph Lauren’s “state-of-the-art” wearable technology, expressly designed for Team USA. RL Cooling, the company said, is “on the leading-edge of the emerging field of personal thermal management systems.”
The system works by keeping tabs on the wearer’s temperature and directing heat away from his or her skin, a key feature when the summer weather in Japan averages in the high 80s. The technology, which borrows from innovation used to keep computer systems from overheating, is “seamlessly integrated” into the white jacket, it said.
“Through the Olympic and Paralympic Games, Ralph Lauren celebrates America’s pioneering spirit and tradition, while embracing modernity and innovation—and it is with that ethos in mind that we approached the development of the RL COOLING technology,” said David Lauren, chief branding and innovation officer and vice chairman of the board at Ralph Lauren Corporation, adding that the new tech “fuses fashion and function.”
The development builds on the company’s recent innovation streak as well as its legacy of debuting new advancements at Olympic Games. RL Cooling follows on the heels of its scalable zero-wastewater cotton dyeing platform, Color on Demand, and joins the pantheon of its experimental ideas, like the heated outerwear it created for 2018’s PyeongChang Games.
The balance of the Made-in-America parade-specific kit is awash in sustainable and thoughtfully sourced componentry. In addition to a navy blazer fashioned from American-grown wool, the striped T-shirt incorporates Ecofast Pure, a Dow cotton-dyeing treatment that minimizes water, energy and chemical consumption. The “classic all-American look” features a printed scarf, shoes and a mask made from verified domestically grown cotton, while Repreve’s recycled poly composes a striped belt, and the denim pant’s back patch is made from Mirum, the leather alternative produced by Natural Fiber Welding—which Ralph Lauren invested in last year.
“Ralph Lauren’s dedication to providing innovative, sustainable and functional outfits for Team USA athletes helps elevate their Games time experience,” said Peter Zeytoonjian, senior vice president of consumer products at U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Properties (USOPP). “As our Olympic and Paralympic athletes step out on the global stage this summer, we’re proud to have the continued support of a brand whose thoughtful approach to how they can better serve our athletes uniquely benefits Team USA.”
The collection is available at certain Ralph Lauren stores and its e-commerce site, as well as select American department stores and TeamUSAShop.com.