Rio 2016 Olympics are giving a lot to talk about this year. 2016 is a pointer year for social media: Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat are not only social networks but also platforms in which fashion brands parade their collections and establish more direct bounds with their audience. These media are hidden gems which are increasingly being exploited more and more by fashion brands. In addition, many world-class athletes are younger and therefore more tech-savvy. The vast majority use their high public profiles to publish their daily activities during Rio and fashion brands have discovered ever since a powerful niche market to exploit and with which to hybridize.

Fashion and sport are increasingly linked and intertwined in between them thanks to the growing public interest in fitness and wellbeing. Athletes therefore become world reference icons that represent beauty and power, and not just good-looks. They have turned into influential marketing figures as well as models: dressing them means improving the brand’s positive image and increasing reputation. Not only have major firms signed up to this Olympic fashion, but also fashion magazines that have written dozens of featured stories on national athletes and have covered their front pages of Olympic images.

Athleisure‘ has become stylish, with an emphasis on casual wear. Several examples to illustrate this case are Beyoncé’ sport collection for Topshop or Rihanna teaming up with Puma to design outfits that are athletically fashionable: sportswear has never been so cool. The opening and closing galas as well as official ceremonies at the Olympics are festooned by the world’s best fashion designers. These become spontaneous cat walks that do not require large outlays but big profits and higher reputation.

“Sports is an exciting fashion field under development, and is increasingly being mixed into our everyday clothing and life,” asserts Katarina Matsson, Elle Sweden content manager in an interview for Business Of Fashion. “The Olympic opening ceremony has become a catwalk with millions of viewers.” All eyes of the world are set on these galas and therefore people are able to spot fashion brands and associate them with a patriotic love for our national athletes.

Let’s take a look at those gold medal winners from this year’s

Rio Fashion Olympics.

Christian Louboutin for Cuba

Monsieur Louboutin has partnered with former French athlete and founder of the concept store, Henri Tai to create the Cuban attire. Embroidered white stars, red and camel canvas jackets and impeccable footwear: all inspired by the fine lines of the Cuban flag.

Dsquared2 representing Canada

Twins Dean and Dan Caten, the duet of country’s most famous designers, sign the Canadian looks that are made by the renowned Canadian Hudson’s Bay stores. With a minimalist approach DSquared2 sublimates the athleisure trend during Rio 2016. And of course, the maple leaf lays at the back!

Lacoste dresses France

Fun fact: Lacoste’s founder, René Lacoste wasn’t only french but also a tennis player. This long-lasting collaboration between the firm and the Gauls has produced exquisite and elegant designs of navy gabardine raincoats, polo shirts with the iconic crocodile on them and dark blue hoodies.

H&M means Sweden

Not only has H&M chosen olympic swimmer Sarah Sjöström as their brand ambassador but has also designed the Swedish team’s outfit for the Olympics. It has done so with sustainable garments made from recycled fabrics. Results are the most advanced ergonomic design trends in the national colors: there’s a reason why the brand is the world’s largest consumer of organic cotton.

Stella McCartney feat. Adidas for Great Britain

The most striking fact about this partnership is that both firms have also involved the athletes in their design process. This has inevitably originated functional pieces with a big “GB” written all over the clothes!

Armani and Italy: the Perfect Combo

It is not the first time Giorgio Armani dresses national athletes. Armani has always been symbol of class and a high sense of fashion. This year it was the turn of the Italian water polo team who were in charge of posing with the national galas. See for yourself in this stunning video…

Ralph Lauren makes America Great Again

Ralph Lauren let loose in signature creations that are the height of preppy style dyed in the shades of the American flag. The American uniform deserves a special mention for its versatility with their polos, jackets and shoes.

Joma is Made in Spain

Finally a Spanish brand dresses their national athletes once again. It is not the riskiest bet or the most stylish one but these uniforms are 100% made in Spain, specifically in the region of La Mancha. Joma has signed as well to design the Spanish uniform for Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

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