The Best Outfits at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics Opening Ceremony

Though the Olympics may be all about sports, the opening ceremony certainly felt quite fashionable. Here are our top picks of teams with the best fashion sense

Taking place in Tokyo on Friday, July 23, the 2021 Summer Olympics officially started with more than 11,00 athletes from 206 countries participating. Admittedly, it felt a bit empty in the stadium that has a capacity of 68,000. Unlike any other event in Olympic history, the show was scaled back and virtually no spectators were permitted due to the pandemic.

But there were plenty of exuberant outfits to distract from the empty stands. For starters, the Japanese singer-songwriter Misia performed the Japanese national anthem in a voluminous, rainbow-colored gown by designer Tomo Koizumi. Afterwards, the Parade of Nations presented its own colors at the ceremony. Many team uniforms also made an impact on viewers through their high-fashion quality and homage to various cultures.

Team USA

Ralph Lauren returned as the official designer for Team USA’s Olympics uniforms. The athletes’ opening ceremony look was reminiscent of the patriotic styles Lauren has made in the past. It was comprised of a navy blazer and trousers, a striped short-sleeved shirt and a custom face mask.

Team France

Two famous French sportswear labels teamed up to design Team France’s official uniforms for Tokyo 2020. It’s a collection of athleticwear in the colors of the French flag with Lacoste’s famed alligator logo and Le Coq Sportif’s rooster motif displayed on every piece. These uniforms are sleek, stylish, and comfortable from the top right down to the socks and shoes

Team Great Britain

Team Great Britain enlisted British label Ben Sherman to design the opening and closing ceremony uniforms. The designs are the modern version of what the athletes wore at the Tokyo Olympics back in 1964. These uniforms were previously unveiled at London Fashion Week. Furthermore, this marks the second comeback of Adidas’s collaborator Stella McCartney in creating uniforms for the Great Britain. The collection includes athletic wear for a wide array of sports such as gymnastics, track and field, skateboarding and sport climbing.

Team Liberia

Telfar Clemens is a familiar name for anyone with a passing knowledge of “it” bags. Not long ago, this Beyoncé-approved American-Liberian designer upped his game and became the official outfitter of the Liberian National Team. He has not only created the opening and closing ceremony uniforms, but also 70 pieces of athleticwear and villagewear for the entire team. One-shouldered tanks, track pants, unitards and duffel bags are just some on the list.

Team Italy

In the past decade, Giorgio Armani was chosen to design Team Italy uniforms for numerous Summer and Winter Olympics and Paralympics. For this year’s event,  Armani haded it over to Emporio Armani for Team Italy’s outfits. Along with the opening ceremony uniforms, the Armani-branded tracksuits have been created specifically for the medal awards ceremony. The wardrobe is completed with bags, backpacks, hats, and sneakers featuring visual details in tribute to Japan. As part of Emporio Armani’s EA7 collection, they were first unveiled at the spring/summer 2020 fashion show in Milan.

Team Australia

Australia’s iconic fashion and lifestyle brand, Sportscraft, has been selected as the Official Uniform Supplier of the 2020 Australian Olympic Team. Designing both the Opening Ceremony and Formal Uniforms, this will be the seventh time Sportscraft has provided the symbolic apparel for Australia’s most accomplished athletes.

Team Japan

The host proudly chose Aoki, one of the country’s largest fashion retailers to manufacture its Olympic uniforms. This speaks volumes on the recent advances both in social inclusion and adaptive fashion design. It is also a reflection of another historic change. The official motto has been updated for the first time since the inception of the Games in 1894. It now states: “Faster, Higher, Stronger – Together”.