Fashion, always in search of a spectacle, may have found the ultimate global runway. Tonight as the planet’s best athletes march to kick off the opening ceremony of the 2016 Olympics, they may also make a few best dressed lists.
Big brands have outfitted a few teams over the years, but this Olympics seems to have ushered quite a few more into the arena. The brands range from Lacoste on France, Polo Ralph Lauren on USA—including a special Michael Phelps jacket that has a light-up “USA”—Dsquared on Canada, and H&M on Sweden, to name but a few.
All these brands are well versed in the sportswear market, as all are already making athletic inspired clothing. But new to the arena is luxury shoe designer Christian Louboutin, not exactly the most expected brand to be seen on an Olympic team. Although Louboutin does make sneakers—he is widely known for sexy and glamorous high-heels worn by movies stars and chic women worldwide—this is a new track for the designer.
The athletes will wear Louboutin’s signature red as well as black and khaki tones in blazers, shirts, skirts, and shorts. Men will wear leather sneakers and women heels. While unexpected, the merge is surprisingly a perfect fit, maybe because the Louboutin red, which is under every Louboutin shoe, feels so right in the spirit of competition.
The question that does come to mind is, does Christian Louboutin plan to launch athletic apparel? Or is he planning a more affordable, accessible line of shoes? Maybe celebrity and social media are not enough promotional tools in 2016. Maybe a brand needs the addition of large scale global sporting events to be seen as a titan in the luxury world?
If so, Christian Louboutin has made the right choice. It will be interesting to see if more American brands jump on board to do the same. Christian Louboutin has found the perfect audience to test this out, as well the best models to convince us that his creativity can crossover from the red carpet to the stadium.