Hudson's Bay Co. debuts Canadian Olympic team uniforms for Sochi Games

 

 
 
 
 
Athletes pose wearing the new Canadian Olympic and Paralympic team collection made by Hudson's Bay that will outfit Canada's athletes at the upcoming Sochi 2014 Olympic and Paralympic winter Games, in Toronto on Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
 
 

Athletes pose wearing the new Canadian Olympic and Paralympic team collection made by Hudson's Bay that will outfit Canada's athletes at the upcoming Sochi 2014 Olympic and Paralympic winter Games, in Toronto on Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

TORONTO - Canada's Olympic athletes will be sporting styles in Sochi that are homegrown, but the replica garments and popular red mittens made available to consumers will be made offshore.

Official outfitter Hudson's Bay Co. unveiled the new Canadian team uniforms during a splashy presentation in downtown Toronto on Wednesday, with both Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls modelling the fresh slate of patriotic apparel for the 2014 Winter Games.

But with the recent six-month anniversary of the tragic Bangladeshi garment factory collapse, heightened attention and focus on the manufacturing practices of affordable apparel brands and retailers remains top of mind.

HBC president Bonnie Brooks said that everything the athletes will be wearing in Sochi will be made in Canada, while the replica garments for consumers are being made offshore, mostly in China.

"We are a company with a very, very stringent social compliance policy and obligation to people around the world. And we ethically source every factory that we work in," Brooks told a gathering of reporters following the presentation.

"I understand that issues have come up recently with retailers recently sharing ... where things are made. I can assure you that up until now, that has been extremely proprietary — not due to lack of transparency — but primarily due to the competitive nature of our business."

Brooks added that they have joined with a group of retailers who will provide "complete transparency" on the locations of their factories.

Hilary Kelley, HBC's vice-president of design, said they sought to do something somewhat different with the current crop of Olympic designs, suggesting the collection channels influences from traditional sport clothing and vintage sport.

As always, the patriotic new designs flaunt Canada's colours, though this time adding black. Colour-blocking — the teaming of multiple shades within one garment — is a prominent theme in the new line. Items such as T-shirts, knit sweaters and hoodies feature logos in one colour with sleeves and other accents in complementary shades.

The "Canada" vintage wordmark sees the country's name emblazoned in bold lettering across the front of several garments as well as some colourful tuques in the collection. The range showcases a number of outerwear options including an all-red duffle coat accented with a black stripe around the waist and a reversible down jacket.

Kelley said the clothing line also includes three animal icons representative of the elements upon which the athletes will compete: the beaver for land, the polar bear for ice and snow, and the loon for air.

Versions of the animal symbols are threaded throughout the line, such a graphic beaver print teamed with a miniaturized Maple Leaf adorned on a scarf, or the animal depicted curled up on the back of a wool sweater.

"The collection is an evolution of Canadian sport and style, exuding a sense of refinement," said Kelley.

Canadian Olympic Committee president Marcel Aubut described the uniforms as "the ultimate symbol of our country's Olympic dreams and aspirations."

"These uniforms are so much more than just fabrics and design ideas. They are a manifestation of the hard work and determination of countless supporters, including friends, coaches, team supports and family members."

Model-athletes on hand gave the new line a thumbs up.

"I love fashion. For me, it's a real pleasure to have good clothes for the Olympic Games," said freestyle moguls skiier Justine Dufour-Lapointe.

Sledge hockey player Billy Bridges called the clothing line "incredible."

"It's made us proud to put it on, and that's what it's going to feel like in Sochi, Russia, when we're out there. And we're going to be one of the best-looking countries by far," said the Summerside, P.E.I. native.

Hudson's Bay Co. will be the official outfitter of the Canadian Olympic and Paralympic teams until 2020.

The 2014 Winter Games begin on Feb. 7.

 
 
 
Font:
 
 
 
 
Athletes pose wearing the new Canadian Olympic and Paralympic team collection made by Hudson's Bay that will outfit Canada's athletes at the upcoming Sochi 2014 Olympic and Paralympic winter Games, in Toronto on Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
 

Athletes pose wearing the new Canadian Olympic and Paralympic team collection made by Hudson's Bay that will outfit Canada's athletes at the upcoming Sochi 2014 Olympic and Paralympic winter Games, in Toronto on Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

 
Athletes pose wearing the new Canadian Olympic and Paralympic team collection made by Hudson's Bay that will outfit Canada's athletes at the upcoming Sochi 2014 Olympic and Paralympic winter Games, in Toronto on Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
An athlete models a new Canadian Olympic and Paralympic team jacket made by Hudson's Bay that will outfit Canada's athletes at the upcoming Sochi 2014 Olympic and Paralympic winter games, in Toronto on Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013.
Ski cross athlete Kelsey Serwa shows off one of the new jackets and a tuque by the Hudsons Bay Company bearing the official Canadian Olympic Committee insignia.
Hockey player Drew Doughty, who won a gold medal at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics and returns to Team Canada for the 2014 Games, models a new Olympic edition sweater.
Freestyle skier Alexandre Bilodeau, who won a gold medal in moguls at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, models a new Hudsons Bay Company coat - part of the 2014 Olympic clothing line unveiled Wednesday.
Bonnie Brooks, president of the Hudson's Bay Company, speaks at an event introducing the new Canadian Olympic and Paralympic team collection made by Hudson's Bay that will outfit Canada's athletes at the upcoming Sochi 2014 Olympic and Paralympic winter games, in Toronto on Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013.
Official Canadian Olympic team outfitter the Hudson's Bay Company unveiled the new designs, with the help of some Olympians, during a press conference in Toronto. They uniforms feature images of a beaver, loon and polar bear -- as well as the word 'Canada' in a vintage classic wordmark.
Curler Cheryl Bernard, left, and skierJan Hudec, second left, and other athletes, wear the new Canadian Olympic and Paralympic team collection made by Hudson's Bay that will outfit Canada's athletes at the upcoming Sochi 2014 Olympic and Paralympic winter games,
Official outfitter Hudson's Bay Co. unveiled the Canadian Olympic team uniforms for the 2014 Winter Games during an event in Toronto Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013. (Hudson's Bay Co./Handout)
 
 
 
 
 
 
We encourage all readers to share their views on our articles and blog posts. We are committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion, so we ask you to avoid personal attacks, and please keep your comments relevant and respectful. If you encounter a comment that is abusive, click the "X" in the upper right corner of the comment box to report spam or abuse. We are using Facebook commenting. Visit our FAQ page for more information.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Your voice
Was the NHL right to cancel the Senators-Leafs game?
 
Yes, it was the only thing
No, the terrorists win
Hard to say
Who cares about hockey at a time like this?