The Team USA official Olympic patchwork cardigans have received some criticism from the media. Their multiple knitted motifs have been called an eyesore and likened to an ugly holiday sweater. However, if you are following the latest trends in fashion, you will notice the loud, over-sized "Bill Cosby" style of sweater is making its way back onto racks. Have you noticed what the 16 to 30-something year-old hipsters are wearing? Big, ugly sweaters.
Ralph Lauren was criticized for using Chinese materials and labor for the clothing in the 2012 Olympics so he made sure to use as much domestic raw materials as possible.
The wool from the Closing Ceremony sweaters is from a small woolen mill in East Jordan, Michigan called Stonehedge Fiber Mill. Owner, Debbie McDermott recalls the phone call from Ralph Lauren requesting 4,000 pounds of yarn for the sweaters and hats, "When I got off the phone, my mouth dropped open," she said. "It was a big surprise."
The fact that the wool is Michigan-made has me sold. I love everything my Great Lakes State produces and buy local whenever possible.
And, as Americans we have always had the reputation worldwide of being bold and a bit loud, unlike the demur French and Dutch who prefer solid colors and favor the use of black. According to Business Week, the line is selling well. I guess it's true what they say, there is no such thing as bad PR.