Your eyes would not be deceiving you if it looked like Michael Phelps was glowing with pride as he carried the American flag Friday night during the Rio Olympics Opening Ceremony.
Phelps, like the rest of Team USA, was wearing a Ralph Lauren-designed blazer during the athlete march into Maracana Stadium. But with a flip of a switch in the pocket of his specially designed blazer, Phelps began to glow — well, to be more specific the Team USA circular logo on the front of the blazer and the “USA” on the back lit up, causing the most decorated Olympic swimmer of all time to stand out among the thousands of athletes in the arena.
To create the look, Ralph Lauren took the official jacket made in Rochester, New York, and sent it to a Flex facility in Texas, where battery-powered electroluminescent panels were placed on the blazer.
"The Flag Bearer Jacket will literally light the way for Team USA as they represent our country in the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games,” said David Lauren, Executive Vice President, Global Advertising, Marketing & Communications. "This groundbreaking jacket exemplifies Ralph Lauren’s continued exploration of the intersection of fashion and technology. For an athlete, being chosen as the flag bearer for Team USA is an extraordinary honor, and we wanted to pay tribute to that position."
For all of the fashionistas out there who are looking for details on what Team USA was wearing, here are the specifics: a deep navy blazer complemented by gold buttons, repp-stripe trim and an embroidered Polo Pony; a red, white and blue-striped T- shirt and selvedge white denim jeans with inspirational details ("Faster, Higher, Stronger"), boat shoes, striped cotton bracelets and navy grosgrain belts.
Phelps is one of just two people who will get to wear the light-up jacket. The yet-to-be-named flag bearer of the U.S. Paralympic Team also will get the honor of lighting the switch on a blazer of his or her own.