South African swag at the Olympics is at critical but stable levels


According to South Africa’s fulltime Minister of Razzmatazz and sometimes Minister of Sport and Recreation, Fikile Mbalula, the SA Olympic team tracksuit is lacking in swag.

As one who hobnobs in Las Vegas, Mbalula knows a thing, or two, about swag.

And, well, our Olympians may be slaying in Rio, but they certainly don’t look the part.

We have to ask, why wasn’t the South African Olympic uniform designed by our own designers? South Africa has no shortage of world-class fashion designers. Surely we could have had Thula Sindi or David Tlale work some of their magic?

Instead, the South African team’s tracksuits have been designed by world-renowned (really?) 361 clothing, a Chinese company that specialises in “customised fashion clothing for consumers”.

As of 2014, 361 clothing was named the official sponsor of uniforms for technical staff and volunteers at the 2016 Summer Olympic Games and Paralympic Games. So basically, oversized and uninspired replicas of the Olympic staff designs – #MadeInChina.

Now, does this matter?

Sure it does – the Olympics is a world stage. Team SA has been nothing short of spectacular at these Olympics, winning seven medals so far. When we South Africans are displayed on the highest and arguably most prestigious sporting platform in the world, we expect fair representation. Our team have swag AND are winners. They deserve to be kitted out as such.

And the FOMO game is strong.

Take a look at the French tracksuit designed by Lacoste, Mbalula commented: “I just feel like jumping into France’s tracksuit right now. It makes those athletes look exquisite and super.” And admittedly, the tracksuit the French team are sporting looks marginally better than South Africa’s. For one, it fits properly.

Curiously, Cuba’s tracksuit has been designed by Christian Louboutin, the French footwear designer of red-soled fame and glory. Why the shoe mogul has branched out into athleisure is a mystery. And admittedly the design looks a bit like an aircraft crew going on a safari, but at least it has some imagination.

And as for other countries, the Italian team had its uniform designed by world-renowned fashion house, Giorgio Armani and it would not look out of place in any sporting fashion catalogue. Britain had its uniform designed by Stella McCartney and the USA by Ralph Lauren.

What do you think? Is the South African Olympic uniform a fair representation of our level of swag or not? Comment below or tweet us @thedailyvox.

Featured image via Team South Africa on Facebook



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here