Spanish Furore Poses Mighty Test for Bosco
Published: August 1, 2012 (Issue # 1720)
MOSCOW — As Spain’s leading athletes go in and out of the Olympic Village in east London during this summer’s games, they probably have a whole raft of questions on their minds. When do I have to show up for qualifying heats? How many more practices should I fit in? And why, Dios mio, do I have to wear this uniform?
Russian sportswear company Bosco Sport dressed the Spanish Olympic team for free this summer, and both the company and its Olympic outfits have been receiving tons of coverage in media outlets worldwide — though it might not be the publicity that the company had hoped for.
The subject of astonishment and ridicule, the Spanish kit ranges from the old-timey yellow jackets and long red skirts worn by its female athletes during Friday’s opening ceremony, to competition wear in a never-before-seen mix of cherry red, orange and canary yellow.
When the newspaper El Pais gave the Spanish public its first glances of the Bosco Sport uniforms, one reader said on the Spanish paper’s website that the warm-up suit looked like a costume for “a lion tamer.”
“It’s best if I don’t comment. Leaving that to others,” Spanish Olympian Saul Craviotto wrote on Twitter to caption a photograph of himself trying on his uniform at home this month. In the picture, the handsome sprint canoer wears a look of pained disbelief underneath a sports cap with an orange-red crown, a yellow visor and red embroidery resembling turkey feet.
He models bright red pants and a polo shirt covered with horseshoe-crab-shaped orange-red motifs. A yellow and red knapsack rounds out the outfit.
He was one of a handful of Spanish Olympic participants who have commented publicly on their dislike of the uniforms. Field hockey champion Alex Fabregas tweeted out a mock-enthusiastic photo of himself in uniform, saying, “There are no adjectives.”
For Bosco Sport, part of Russian fashion importer and retailer Bosco di Ciliegi, the Summer Olympics outfits aren’t just about what fans think as they watch a handful of matches from the stands or at home. Rather, the company’s long-term international expansion goals hinge in part on the impression of Bosco Sport formed during the games.
The founder of Bosco di Ciliegi, a company whose name is an Italian translation of “cherry orchard,” was skeptical of the negative reaction.
“Spanish people will be at the cash tills to buy our clothes,” Mikhail Kusnirovich told Bloomberg News. “I understand that for some Spanish fans they are unusual designs, but we have to be recognized very fast — you only have a few seconds on TV.”
Pages:  [2 ]