Olympic gold for Next as high street store reveals designs for Team GBHigh street retailer to supply more than 1,000 athletes with formal wear
CEO Simon Wolfson said the sponsorship deal cost 'a few million pounds'
14:17 GMT, 4 May 2012
Stella McCartney was slammed for her Team GB kit, which featured a blue and white Union flag – effectively eliminating the St George and St Patrick crosses from the design.
And now high street chain Next has stuck its head above the parapet, unveiling its collection of formal wear, which will be worn by more than 1,000 Olympians and Paralympians at the July 27 Opening Ceremony, at sponsorship events and at an official meeting with the Queen.
The range, which is entirely navy-blue, bar touches of gold detailing, includes tailored jackets, cowl-neck dresses, lace-up shoes for men and sensible courts for women.
Next has unveiled its range of formalwear as modelled by British Olympic athletes
British Olympians will receive the smart attire, which has been created in some 66 different sizes, along with their competition kit at ceremony held at Loughborough University.
The induction areas are to be branded the Next Room (ceremonies and formalwear) followed by the Adidas Room (training, competition, presentation and village uniforms).
Next will also be providing uniforms for 4,500 technical officials and suits for organisers as part of the sponsorship deal which CEO Simon Wolfson told Bloomberg cost 'a few million pounds'.
'This is a high quality suit that will see a life much more beyond the Olympics,' rower Andy Triggs Hodge said of the outfit which was made from wool woven in Yorkshire but manufactured in China due to cost pressures.
A spokesperson from the retailer said: 'Everyone at Next is thrilled to be playing a very special part in the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games.
Dressed to impress: Rower Andy Triggs Hodge and two-time open water world champion Keri-Anne Payne
'As the official clothing and homeware supplier to the eagerly anticipated London 2012 Games, this is a unique opportunity to showcase our attention to style, detail and innovation.'
Men’s jackets, fashioned from milled cloth, are styled with peak lapels and
double angle-darting to ensure the perfect fit.
The underside of each collar is embroidered with the team motto 'Better Never Stops' for
Olympians, and 'Talent, Pride, Determination' for Paralympians.
And not forgetting the Union flag each of the women's cowl-neck dresses features a laser-cut
decoration on the bodice.
Ready to go: Gymnast Louis Smith puts his suit to the test
A replica of the men's Team GB suit will go on sale at 31 Next stores priced at 220, however the dresses to be worn by the country’s female
competitors couldn’t be produced cheaply
enough to go on sale
The replica clutch bag will be available in Next stores from mid June, priced at 25
Next, will start selling replica men's navy suits with a gold handkerchief from May 19 at 31 of its 500-plus U.K. stores.
The official Team GB logo and badges
will be removed from the 220 version and the navy tie to be worn by
British Olympians isn’t for sale, designer Michael Woodhouse revealed.
The dresses to be worn by the country’s female
competitors also won’t be available to the public as it couldn’t be produced cheaply
enough for sale to Next customers.
Instead, casual-wear such as London 2012 t-shirts depicting
Olympic mascot Wenlock have gone on sale for 12 while a bag emblazoned with the national flag, will retail for 25.
Chief Executive Officer Simon Wolfson told Bloomberg that the sponsorship is about 'promoting the brand and particularly now we’re developing an international business.
'I don’t think we’ll see any overnight or instant impact from the Olympics.'
The retailer follows fellow British brands Ben Sherman, Lee Cooper and M&S in designing formal wear kits for Team GB.
Giorgio Armani has designed formal wear kits for the Italian Olympic team, while Ralph Lauren will be dressing U.S. athletes for official occasions.
The World's most successful Paralympic dressage rider, Lee Pearson CBE, showcases the new Next kit
The replica men's suit will be available in 31 stores from May 19, 220. The replica clutch bag will be available in stores from mid June, 25, Next; next.co.uk.