Ralph Lauren Team USA Uniform Sketches | Tokyo 2021

The time has finally come, the Ralph Lauren Olympic fashion illustration's for the Team USA Uniforms have been been released and tonight we get to see them in action. “Team USA’s 2020 [now 2021 since the pandemic postponement] Opening Ceremony Parade Uniform is a classic all-American look that incorporates sustainable materials within each piece,” a press release from Ralph Lauren read. What it left out was that it incorporated elements, or better yet accessories and illustrative details we’ve yet to see from Ralph Lauren for any Olympic Games ever before such as athletes sporting face masks, and for the first time a press release illustration incorporating the disabled community with a Paralympian and a wheelchair as well as a multitude of ethnicities for the croquis. The inclusive nature of the team USA uniform illustrations released by Ralph Lauren of both opening and closing ceremony looks for 2021 are truly like none we’ve ever seen before from the brand!
In addition to the added elements mentions above, from what I can tell (and now I can’t be 100% certain but I’d be willing to bet money on it) these illustrations also appear to be digital drawings which is quite the departure for a brand with such a rich history of hand drawn illustrations behind their designs. (At the end of this post I’ll share links with examples of older works.) Specifically the opening ceremony illustration, with the multiple figures, and the way the flag and fabrics are rendered, appears to me to be evenly filled lines are that are rendered with digital brush strokes. Of course it’s still in the same beautiful Ralph Lauren illustrative style and well drawn croqui’s that are quality examples of the brand. But it’s a modern drawing technique, a high tech fashion illustration version that parallels the high performance gear and sustainable clothing elements the illustrations are representing.

Bravo Ralph Lauren! For being all-inclusive with the disabled community, representing multiple ethnicities, not ignoring the pandemic with masks and stepping out of your comfort zone by doing digital illustrations for these 2021 Olympic Team USA looks! Can't wait to see the illustrations come to life on the athletes in tonight's Opening Ceremony.

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