No gold medal for Giorgio Armani as he unveils dreary navy Olympic kit for Italy (where's the red and green)
Designer's kit to rival Stella McCartney for Team GB and Ralph Lauren for U.S.
Italian flag colours ignored as designer ditches red and green for boring blue
13:40 GMT, 11 May 2012
When Stella McCartney revealed her Olympic kit designs for Team GB, she was widely criticised for changing the colour of the Union flag to predominantly blue.
But if you thought her style didn't truly reflect the flag the team are representing, then Giorgio Armani's designs for the Italian 2012 squad will be even more of a disappointment.
The fashion supremo has unveiled his 50-piece Olympic collection in Milan, and the majority of the kit fails to incorporate the nation's flag colours of green and red. Instead, the minimalist collection is made up of white and navy items with a small Olympic rings and 'Italia' logo.
Scroll down for video…
Sea of navy: Italian designer Giorgio Armani, centre, with members of Italy's Olympic squad in the sports suits he has designed
Spot the colour: Athletes at the launch in Milan show off little of the colours in their nation's flag
The collection includes a plain navy polo shirt, all-white and all-navy sport jackets and navy track suit bottoms. The trainers are also in a minimalist design in shades or white or navy with just a hint of gold in homage to the colour of medal it is hoped the athletes will bring home.
All the items are emblazoned with Emporio Armani's EA7
sports label logo.
The designs were modelled this week by 15 of the 280-strong Italian Olympic contingent, including five-times medallist fencer Valentina Vezzali, one of Italy's
best hopes in the summer games.
The sport suits will be worn by the athletes at the London 2012 opening ceremony on July 27 and around the Olympic village, but not to compete.
Although at first sight the country the
athletes are representing will not be instantly recognisable by their kit, Armani insisted it is patriotic.
Medal hopeful: Fencer Valentina Vezzali gives the kit the thumbs up and reveals the patriotic lining featuring the first line of the national anthem
Going for gold: Diver Tania Cagnotto, left, models the shorts and a gilet while water polo player Matteo Aicardi dons a rare piece in the collection featuring the red and green from Italy's flag
'I am very patriotic. And what is more patriotic than the Olympics' he said at the launch of his designs. 'The
fact that I have been chosen (to design these outifts) is a recognition
to the value of what I do. Fashion represents a great Italian flag for
the whole world and it is a beautiful idea to combine it with sports,'
On closer inspection, there are hints
of the Italian flag in his design with some of the polo shirts
featuring a tiny flag on the cuffs and one T-shirt having green and red
Praise: Giovanni Petrucci, left, who heads Italy's Olympic Committee, said team Italia would definitely look 'the most fashionable' in London this summer thanks to Armani's designs
But viewers have to look very close to see Armani's most patriotic touch – the first sentences of
Italy's national anthem have been by embroidered in gold on the inside lining of the uniform jackets and
on the back of polo shirts collars.
Wearing his trademark black T-shirt
and black trousers with white tennis shoes at the kit launch, Armani,
77, revealed how he feels to be contributing to the Olympics in the
style-stakes, along with McCartney, who teamed up with Adidas to design
the GB kit, and Ralph Lauren, who again kits out the US squad in 2012.
'I am very honoured to participate
with these great colleagues. This will be the most fashionable Olympic
Games ever,' Armani said.
Plain: From left, the Italian team's polo shirt, jacket and waterproof top
Minimalist: The trainers come in navy or white with a hint of gold
Wear with pride: The kit features the Olympic rings and Emporio Armani's EA7 sports label logo on the front, left, while on the back, the team name is silhouetted by the London Olympic athletics stadium
McCartney's Team GB designs will be worn by the squad during competition, while High Street chain
Next have designed their formal wear. McCartney was criticised for not including
enough red in the designs and changing the union flag to white and blue.
But she defended her style saying 'it actually uses more red and shows more flag than any Team GB kit since '84.'
She added: For me it’s one of the
most beautiful flags in the world and it was important for me to stay
true to that iconic design but also to modernise it and present it in a
contemporary way. Ultimately, we wanted the athletes to feel like a team and be proud with the identity we created.'
The competition: Stella McCartney was criticised for turning the union flag blue in her designs for Team GB
Preppy: Ralph Lauren has kitted the U.S. team out in his trademark style
Meanwhile, Next's formal range for
Team GB is in a plain style like Armani's, with dark navy suits and ties
for the men and navy skirts with a cowl neck top for the women. They
have however incorporated the union flag into the top in gold detailing.
Giovanni Petrucci, who heads Italy's
Olympic Committee, said he felt team Italia would definitely look the best in London this summer thanks to Armani's designs.
'We aim to be the best of the world in sport. We are definitely going to
be the most fashionable,' he said.
Watch video of the kit launch below…