adidas, official sportswear provider for Team GB and the Paralympics GB, appointed Stella McCartney as Creative Director to oversee the development of every aspect of the national team’s performance kit – the first time a fashion designer has designed for a country’s team across all competitions for both the Olympic and the Paralympic Games.
The kit, which was the most comprehensive range ever supplied to a national team, included the performance wear, presentation suit, training wear, village wear, accessories and footwear.
Stella McCartney’s design was inspired by the image of the Union flag. For her, “it’s one of the most beautiful flags in the world and it was important 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 of the identity we created.” The resulting print was carried on the sleeves of the training product, seen in a more relaxed way in the village wear, before being revealed in full flair on the competition kit. Each sport had unique features but was still part of the overall team look, something that was important to the athletes. Where the products allowed, the flag design was seen wrapped around the athletes’ bodies. Never before has a team had such a unique visual identity and such a range of apparel.
Team GB finished with 65 medals in total: 29 gold, 17 silver and 19 bronze. It far surpassed their total of 47 at the 2008 Beijing Games and the target of at least 48 set by UK Sport. London 2012 was Britain’s most successful Olympic Games in over a century and they successfully took third place on the medal table.