The Winter Olympics are usually cold, but in this year’s host country South Korea, winters can be downright bitter. Team USA came prepared with new technology from Ralph Lauren where heat is literally inter-woven in their opening ceremony parkas and closing ceremony bomber jackets.
Innovation is not a new concept for the designer. The proof is in his Team USA high-tech fashion outerwear. Lauren’s son, David Lauren, is chief innovation officer and shares that this technology has been in the works for a couple of years.
The inside of both the jacket and the parka is donned with an American flag printed on a panel with electronically printed heat-conductive carbon and silver ink. The flag is bonded to the jacket and is connected to a battery pack via a power cord that is nestled within the padding of the jacket.
The removable battery pack with heat controls can be accessed through the right-hand pocket. The battery pack can store up to 11 hours of charge to provide heat that can also be adjusted through a smartphone app in addition to manual control.
Ralph Lauren’s designers tested the innovative jackets inside meat freezers to make sure they could withstand temperatures as low as 20°F below zero. Temperatures in PyeongChang in February average a low of 0°F, so the jackets are capable of keeping Team USA toasty with no problem.
The official Team USA jackets were available for sale on the Ralph Lauren website, but have sold out. If you weren’t one of the lucky ones who got their hands on the limited-edition tech fashion piece, be on the lookout for this technology in future Ralph Lauren pieces as David Lauren says there are plans to incorporate this heat-conducting technology into future RL fashion.Ralph Lauren feels that if this technology is good enough to keep ski racers, curlers, and speed skaters warm, it’s good enough to keep the American public warm in winter weather, too.