The job of designing Olympic uniforms comes with a ton of pressure. For Stella McCartney, the daughter of the Beatles’ Paul McCartney, the task was especially daunting. Stella is a well-known clothing designer in Great Britain, and her uniform designs for the Summer Olympics in London were released on Thursday. Overall, the kits were not well-received.
McCartney said part of her strategy was to include the colors of the British flag, but many believe she failed to include enough red.
"Massive fail!!!!" one Facebook commenter wrote according to the Daily Mail. "These are not our national colours!!!! Did someone not get the memo."
"Oh dear! Stella, Stella – did you not think of asking ANYONE on a UK street if they thought it was reasonable for you to take the red off our Union Jack?" another agreed.
Stella insists that she feels very strongly about the British flag and that these uniforms contain more red than any Team Great Britain kit since 1984. Perhaps the general public was expecting perfection since they are hosting the games.
On a separate note, many believe McCartney missed a huge opportunity with the design because research has shown that having red in uniforms can give a team a competitive advantage.
"I think that the GB Olympic designers may have missed an opportunity here to include more red in the design," clinical sports psychologist Victor Thompson told the Guardian. "This may have helped give the GB wearers a boost psychologically that would be reflected in physical performance – for instance, if the red increased confidence, (positive) aggression and sense that they are dominant, then they are likely to perform closer to their peak performance potential.
"In addition, there may be negative effects on opponents, facing our athletes wearing significant amounts of red, where they assume a less confident and more submissive position in the sporting contests. While these effects are likely to be small, when it comes to the Olympics, the margins between gold and silver, medal and non-medal, are small."
Whether the uniforms can actually make a competitive difference or not, I’d hate to be Stella McCartney if the British struggle this summer.
- Great Britain