Hudson's Bay releases Sochi Winter Olympics uniforms -

Hudson’s Bay releases Sochi Winter Olympics uniforms

Canada, straining for gold


The good news is that Stephen Harper is finally going to get a new jacket.

With just 100 days to go before the Opening Ceremonies of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, the Canadian Olympic Committee unveiled its team uniforms at a glitzy promotional event in Toronto this afternoon. As red lights flashed and speakers blared unidentifiable stadium rock, a dozen Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls took the stage and modeled the latest effort from Hudson’s Bay, the department store that has kitted out Canada’s athletes at every Games since Turin 2006.

And the snap review is the stuff looks pretty good. Avoiding the pajama pattern fiasco that was Beijing, and the jean jacket look that made Canadian athletes in London seem like they should be outside smoking on the sidewalk, the Bay’s designers have kept it simple and decidedly retro. Nearly 40 different items of clothing, from mitts to toques, to sweaters, duffel coats and puffy ski vests, in red, black, and white, with a number of crisp fonts—some old fashioned, some more modern—spelling out the country’s name. (One, in particular, bears a flattering resemblance to the title bar a certain national news magazine.)

“They are not just our athletes’ uniforms, they are Canada’s uniforms,” gushed Marcel Aubut, President of the COC.

And he’s right. With the exception of special outfits for the Opening Ceremonies and podium victory celebrations, all of the items are now on sale at the Bay. With prices ranging from $30 for T-shirts to $125 for a knit Beaver sweater, to a $275 bright red duffel coat modeled on the company’s iconic Point Blanket. The retailer is also again offering its popular red Canada mitts for $10, with $3.33 from each sale going to the Canadian Olympic Foundation. (Bonnie Brooks, President of Hudson’s Bay says the mittens for medals program has raised $35 million to date for Canada’s athletes.) All of which means the Prime Minister no longer has an excuse for breaking out his well-worn Vancouver 2010 jacket at every conceivable photo-op.

The athletes present seemed excited by the new gear. Figure skater Kirsten Moore-Towers and her pairs partner Dylan Moscovitch said that even just modeling the outfits was a career highlight. (The 2011 Canadian champions are still busy trying to qualify for their first Olympic Games.)

And the classically styled clothes are unlikely to generate the kind of opprobrium that greeted Nike’s unveiling of Canada’s hockey sweaters for Sochi 2014 earlier in the month. (The third, mostly black jersey with a red band that crosses just one arm has been widely compared to the uniforms of the Nazi SS.)

But it has to be said that the Hudson’s Bay probably should have widened its focus group testing for the new uniforms to include 12-year-old boys, or professionally puerile journalists.

The collection is decorated with iconic Canadian animals meant to “represent the natural elements upon which our athletes will compete,” said Hilary Kelley, their VP of design. A stylized, C-shaped beaver for the land. A similarly twisted loon for the air. And a “majestic” polar bear for the snow and ice. The problem is that it’s impossible to look at the ursine figure—hunched over with its tail in the air—without envisioning a more earthy element. In short, the bear looks like it’s taking a dump.

Maybe it’s all part of the plan. A symbol of the huge efforts it takes to win an Olympic medal.

Team Canada, straining for gold.


Hudson’s Bay releases Sochi Winter Olympics uniforms

  1. these girls are hot

    • Oh yeah-talk about cute!
      I mistook AB for Inspector George Crabtree:)!

  2. The question is – are the Made in China?

    • Does it matter?

      • Yes it does matter where they are made, because the race for the lowest price has often led to health, safety and human rights violations by unscrupulous sweat shop owners.

    • If you want them to be affordable….$10.00 for a pair of mitts, then they have to be made somewhere where labor is cheap. Otherwise, they are too high in cost for the average Canadian to afford.

    • I heard on CBC that the version the athletes will wear are made in Canada, but the replicas are made in Indonesia.

  3. The Bear is taking it to the dump.

  4. These look more like the ones that Roots used to carry. Very nice.

  5. It funny, that polar bear looks like he’s getting ready to pinch one off.

  6. “They are not just our athletes’ uniforms, they are Canada’s uniforms,” gushed Marcel Aubut, President of the COC.
    Although I am a free trader, I do get a funny feeling and pause about the above statement from President Marcel Aubut because all the uniforms are being made in China!!
    Surely the COC and The Bay can do better than that and at least this time have the uniforms authentically made in Canada.
    I guess it’s all about the bottom line!
    It just doesn’t seem right; I think I’ll pass on any purchases and enjoy our athletes without the big $$ marketing plans of the COC/Bay.
    Sully99 Ottawa

  7. Mr Aubut should insist the CANADIAN OLYMPIC clothing be made in Canada,if not then contract the job out to someone who will make the uniforms in Canada, where is Harper in this situation, can you imagine a Prime Minister being such a imbecile that he would allow the clothing to be made in China, Disgusting!!!
    The athletes should refuse to wear them, Goes to show you China,Bangladesh,Taiwan, & all the other garment sweatshops in the world are Harper & his ilks Shangrila.
    Shame on McLeans, & all publications in Canada for not denouncing Harper for letting this happen.

    • Gary;
      What a bunch of nonsense you write. Just a typical diatribe and excuse to rag on the Prime Minister for something he or MacLean’s really have no responsibility for.
      The 1st part of your 1st sentence might make some sense the other 90% is nonsense.

      • Excuse me Mr Sully, but I believe Mr Harper is responsible for Mr Aubut & as Prime Minister is Mr Aubut’s boss so to speak, & has the responsibility to direct him to ensure all Olympic garments are made in Canada. As for me ragging on Harper, I would have said the Canadian government, however Harper does not refer to any of his Policies as being implemented by the Canadian government, his programs are always referred to as by the Harper government.
        As for me blaming MacLeans being anyways responsible for Olympic garments not being made in Canada, you clearly were reaching on that one, I clearly stated MacLeans & all Canadian Publications, meaning get the news out that Harper’s government is allowing the Olympic clothes be made outside of Canada. If you are a true Canadian then act like one & support the Canadian garment industry. Perhaps you are not aware but 75,000 garment industry jobs have been lost Mr Harper’s free but not fair trade policies.
        PS: Hope you enjoyed the Conservative convention!!!