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2024 Olympics: Why Are This Year’s Brazilian Opening Ceremony Outfits So Controversial?

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Casper Libero chapter.

The Havaianas flip flops, striped shirt and embroidered jacket combo designed by Riachuelo for the 2024 Olympic Games opening ceremony has been pointed out as too simple for the occasion. However, despite the criticism of the outcome, the story behind the production of the uniforms carries a significant meaning.

The brand’s main aim in creating the outfit is to illustrate the country’s biodiversity by exploring its fauna and flora. The color palette of the shirts alludes to the Brazilian flag, with shades of green, blue, and yellow prevalent in most pieces. The design was carefully crafted to provide elegance, featuring sleek and modern cuts that accentuate the athletes’ features. Moreover, it incorporates references to France, the host country of the event, such as the flared midi skirt and Breton stripes.

The jacket details that enhance the appearance were individually crafted by embroiderers from Timbaúba dos Batistas, in Rio Grande do Norte, who were chosen to reflect Brazil’s craftsmanship and artistic quality. Once again praising our nature, prints can feature a toucan, a macaw, or a jaguar on the back.

Additionally, through its sustainable manufacturing practices, the store emphasized the significance of appreciating Brazil’s natural resources and promoted awareness of the fashion industry’s environmental impact. By utilizing recycled and defibered fabrics in the production of uniforms, the brand further demonstrated its dedication to sustainability, while showcasing Brazil’s circular fashion initiatives to a global audience.

“For the production of uniforms, we adopted measures that we already naturally implement in our production chain, such as reducing water usage by up to 70% in washing processes through ozone, along with the use of natural raw materials for pigmentation, renewable energy usage, and fabric defibration process, repurposing textile waste from our own factory for these productions”, said Cathyelle Schroeder – Marketing and Communications Director of Riachuelo, for COB (Brazilian Olympic Committee).

Despite all the celebration of Brazilian culture and environmental awareness, the public was still not satisfied about the outcome. The criticism of the simplicity of the looks was mainly based on the argument that other countries produced their uniforms alongside luxury brands.

France, for example, worked with Berluti for the development of the uniforms, while the United States once again collaborated with Ralph Lauren combining comfort and elegance.

However, Riachuelo conceived the designs for Team Brazil not merely as uniforms, but as means of cultural identity expression. The laid-back style, alongside the vibrant colors and contagious joy of the Brazilian people was a way that designers chose to explore and represent the true Brazilian spirit.

“Our colors, the joy of the people, and our informality were what initially moved the Riachuelo design team to create pieces that brought these aspects, and not just a sports uniform or an excessively serious outfit.”, further explained Cathyelle Schroeder in an interview for Nossa (UOL).


The article above was edited by Mariana Aguiar.

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Luisa Rubbin

Casper Libero '26

Hi, I'm Luisa! Journalism student at Casper Libero passionate about culture and sports.