Lenny Niemeyer created the outfits athletes will be using at Olympic Games Opening and Closing Ceremonies.
The fashion designer said creating a uniform for athletes that could be 1.5m to over 2m tall has been a challenge. It took her and the designers’ team 15 days to decide on a pattern that could translate Brazil’s wildlife and coast, while also making the uniform timeless and classic. “Something that can still look fashionable and beautiful to anyone in 10, 20, 30 years’ time,” she said. Uniform design drew inspiration from nature and from all the diversity offered by Brazil. The uniforms show the green, blue and yellow colors of the National Flag and printed fabrics alluding to tropical birds and flowers. Light fabrics flow with the wind and sand hues are also seen on the uniforms in a reference to our immense coastline.
“Nothing has ever been as exciting in my career as imagining 1,600 athletes wearing my outfits before the eyes of one billion viewers. Just the thought of it makes me thrill,” Lenny said. The team’s female athletes wore her vibrant green printed dresses with navy blazers, and the male athletes also wore the blazers with white button-down shirts and khakis. Niemeyer’s designs were meant to evoke the “carioca” lifestyle, meaning one who lives in Rio.
Comfort was also an important feature for Lenny Niemeyer, who choose such fabrics as cotton and spandex. “[The uniform] looks so much like Brazil. It’s comfortable to wear and you find it’s superb, we feel so good in it,” said canoe athlete Ana Sátila. “The excitement of walking into a packed stadium will be amazing. Knowing that we’ll have the best in clothing will be just perfect. It’s like we’re at the top,” said Sátila, who will be appearing in her second Olympics.
Neimeyer isn’t just known for her signature ready-to-wear and swimwear. She recently partnered with Best Western to help design its upscale Premier Barra resort, located on Rio’s Barra Beach. While not directly related to Brazil’s breakout architect Oscar Niemeyer, a forefather of Modernist architecture, the designer’s husband is his nephew.
From Leblon to Copacabana, Lenny Niemeyer proudly carrying the Olympic torch, heading for Maracana Stadium