Stella McCartney's Biggest Olympic Design Challenge? The Speedos!

08/01/2012 at 12:30 PM ET

Tom Daley
Barbara Walton/EPA/Landov

Designing Great Britain’s Olympic kits was a lot of pressure for Stella McCartney. But one uniform in particular really posed a challenge: “Tom Daley’s little thing,” McCartney joked to the BBC Tuesday night, referring to the dreamy diver’s Speedo (left). “There wasn’t a lot of space to work on to apply the print!”

While the designer had to work with “so many different bodies, so many different shapes and sizes,” she also had to take into consideration the 26 different sports she was creating uniforms for. Because of that, “It took about three years to do all the designs,” she revealed. “It’s the first time a fashion designer has worked with a sports brand like Adidas over an entire [uniform collection].”

McCartney was also forced to choose function over form, which can be tough for a high-fashion designer. “Practicality comes first,” she shared, “and then secondly I wanted to try and represent the nation, try and make [them] iconic, try and make [them] recognizable. It was technology led … but I think for me it was trying to get the team to look and feel as one.”

But even though the process was long and tough, McCartney has no regrets. As she said, “It’s been an incredible experience.” Tell us: What do you think of Great Britain’s Olympic uniforms? Which country’s uniforms are your favorite? 

Olympics 2012 Uniforms
Courtesy Stella McCartney

–Reporting by Liz Corcoran

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FILED UNDER: Athletes , Designers

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Showing 17 comments

Linda on

I am so impressed with Stella McCartney!!! She is one of my favorite designers. Her style and taste are classically beautiful. Really enjoyed this article and insight on how truly dedicated she is and how hard she works!!

FF on

Wished she could have added 1/2 inch or so to the swimsuits. I don’t mind looking at the swimmer’s awesome physiques. I just don’t think I should be looking at their buttcracks.

Charity on

Stella’s designs are beautiful. She’s truly an accomplished designer. USA’s Ralph Lauren uniforms were a huge embarrassment! Not only were they made in China, the women’s flared skirts looked silly, and moreso paired with athletic shoes and socks, and no one seemed to know how to wear the berets. The Italians’ Armani uniforms were probably the best.

Beth on

Charity–you aren’t comparing apples to apples. Stella designed the uniforms for the UK team (and did not design the opening ceremonies “outfits”). Ralph Lauren DID design opening ceremonies outfits, but not uniforms.

Debbie on

Seriously, in a time where the economy is so shaky, do we really need designer olympic wear? Yea, MAYBE the designers donated their stuff, but it sure is great advertising for overpriced clothing.

vickynicole on

I think the uniforms for GB are nice. Simple but eye catching. Of course I would say Canada’s are the best, but that’s because I’m Canadian :) And… @FF – you might not like looking at the men’s butt cracks, but I am sure lots of other people don’t mind ;)

Joelle on

That Picture of Tom Daley is Hot!!! I would do him in a heartbeat

fanofboardwalkempire on

The Great Britain team uniforms looks just great!
You did an awesome job Stella! congratulations and thank you for such lovely uniforms.

Benilde on

Oh yes, it looks like rocket science to come up with clothes for the athletes. That’s why it took 3 years. Give me a break. *eyeroll

Edie on

The USA’s opening uniforms were classy. Unfortunately they were made in China which was a BIG mistake by Ralph Lauren. I certainly hope that these big designers donated their time and talents to do this work. We had better NOT be paying big bucks for this! The US economy is in such dire straights since Obama became president. WE CAN’T AFFORD IT!!!!

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