We Went There: Olympic Fashion Line Debut

Every four years, athletes from all around the world get together to compete at the highest level of competition, make their country proud, and leave everything on the line in their quest for glory. But if you think that’s enough, you’re wrong. You have to look good, too. Damn good. 

Today’s unveiling of the Hudson’s Bay Company’s fashion line for the Canadian athletes headed to Sochi 2014 is about more than just a good photo opp. In 100 days our men and women will be strutting their stuff on one of the biggest stages in the world. What they wear says something about who they are and what they represent. Which is why it was one hell of a relief to finally see the uniforms for the first time – they look fantastic.

Held at the Fermenting Cellar in the Distillery District, it was clear from the get-go that this wasn’t HBC’s first time at the rodeo. After all, they introduced their iconic striped blankets to the world in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany in 1936 when they donated them to the Canadian athletes performing at those games. Since then, HBC has been involved in the history of several Canadian Olympic ventures, most recently becoming a Premier National Partner of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games and providing Team Canada’s uniforms for the Torino, Beijing, Vancouver, and London Games. Their goal for the Sochi collection was to unify sport and style in order to create a modern, comfortable, and deeply Canadian look. They’ve used colour-blocking throughout the line to keep on trend (Maple Leaf Red, Northern White, Winter Night Black) while honouring the traditional aspect and purpose of these outfits by including three distinctly Canadian animals – the beaver, loon, and polar bear – intended to represent the diversity of the Canadian identity.

The Duffle Coat, inspired by HBC’s classic Point Blank, is a clear standout. Its fierce colour and snug fit make the jacket fashionable and practical, bold but undemanding. The 100% wool Knit Canada Beaver Sweater definitely looks like something we’d love to après ski in and, of course, the 5th Edition 2014 Red Mittens are a must-have this winter. Not only are they fun, comfy, and stylish, they’re also supportive. Besides having CAN written across them so as to inspire pride wherever you wear them, HBC will also donate $3.33 for every pair purchased to the Canadian Olympic Foundation to help support Canadian athletes.   

We know we’re mostly known around the world for being polite, but come this winter we’ll be known for being politely more fashionable than everyone else. From scarfs to t-shirts and everything in between, if you’re looking to support Canada this winter as you cheer on our athletes, there’s simply no better way to look so good doing it.