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Lululemon unveils Canada’s official Olympic kit for the Paris games

Canadian company previously created an official line of clothing for Canada’s athletes at the 2022 winter games in Beijing

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Two years ago, Canadian outfitter Lululemon unveiled its first-ever Olympic lineup, to clothe Canada’s athletes at the 2022 winter games in Beijing. Now it’s time for summer fashion.

Tuesday in Toronto the company revealed its summer kit for Canada’s Olympians and Paralympians, to be worn at the Paris games, July 26 to Aug. 11, and at the Paralympics, Aug. 28 to Sept. 8.

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Lululemon says it is combining function and fashion in the designs, which it created in consultation with 19 Canadian Olympic and Paralympic athletes across 14 different sports, who provided product testing and feedback sessions.

The company took over as the official supplier of Canada’s Olympic athletes in a multi-year deal that began in 2022. This was after a 16-year partnership with Hudson’s Bay Company ended following the Tokyo 2020 summer games, which were held in 2021 due to the pandemic.

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“For Paris 2024, we had the opportunity to deepen our partnership with the Olympians and Paralympians who represent Canada on the global stage,” said Calvin McDonald, CEO of Lululemon. “We took an innovation-first approach to design a collection driven by athlete insights, so they can feel and perform their best in Paris. All of us at Lululemon are honoured to support these athletes.”

Athletes, coaches and support staff will wear Team Canada apparel throughout key moments at the Games, including the opening and closing ceremonies, medal ceremonies, media appearances and travel, as well as daily life in the Athlete Village.

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According to the company, design highlights include:

Adaptability: The kit was designed to support more bodies and more abilities, with features including magnetic-close zippers, pull-on loops, and sensory touch guides. Two adaptive styles — the Seated-Fit Carpenter Pant and the Seated-Fit Packable Rain Poncho — are intentionally designed for functionality and comfort in a seated position.

Thermal Comfort: To keep athletes comfortable during changing temperatures and conditions, the kit features adjustable styles like the Convertible Pant & Jacket, as well as SenseKnit technology and sweat-wicking fabrics to enhance breathability through ventilation.

Fit & Function: Products with four-way stretch fabrics, customizable drawcords, and newly engineered pocket shapes and placements help athletes move and personalize styles.

National Pride: Prints inspired by the beauty of Canada help athletes celebrate their country and reflect their journey throughout the Games. Fabrics like Jacquard create modern silhouettes that allow athletes to show up in style.

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Audrey Reilly, creative director of Team Canada at Lululemon, said she was inspired by Paris’s reputation as the City of Light, adding that the 35 sports of the summer games made it a more ambitious project than the Beijing winter games, which featured 15 sports.

She said that, in the case of the opening ceremony parade, the “feel state” is one of anticipation and celebration. These looks have what Reilly calls a “patriotic red” base in a Jacquard fabric with a toile pattern made up of elements that represent all parts of the country and including elements of nature, flora and fauna, and architecture.

The closing ceremony theme is “joy and illumination,” said Reilly. The outfits are a deeper red, with a print designed in collaboration with artist Mason Mashon of Saddle Lake Cree Nation, a longtime Lululemon ambassador who has competed in extreme sports. The print represents illumination in nature, such as photography of the aurora borealis.

A group of Canadian athletes
Lululemon unveils Team Canada Summer Athlete Kit for Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Photo by Scott Ramsay for Lululemon

For media interviews, the athletes requested a calming feel, so a beige palette was chosen. There’s a blouson-style top with a transparent jacket, “sort of a modern twinset,” Reilly said

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The podium pieces are dynamic, with red maple leaves moving down the body on a white background. “The feel state here is pride,” Reilly said. They are also convertible, like most of the pieces: the arms and legs can zip off to suit the weather.

Reaction to the U.S. Olympic team’s kit, unveiled this week by Nike, was less than positive, with some athletes decrying the women’s swimwear as too revealing and sexist. Former U.S. track and field star Lauren Fleshman went so far as to call it “a costume born of patriarchal forces that are no longer welcome or needed to get eyes on women’s sports.”

However, reaction to the Canadian kit has been, at least so far, moderate and mostly positive, although some on social media said the shade of red was a little too reminiscent of blood.

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