Canada’s 2020 Tokyo Olympics Jean Jackets are Going Viral: Here’s What the Athletes Think

by Leanne Stahulak

Oh, Canada. What are we supposed to think about the graffiti-covered jean jackets that they wore to the Tokyo Olympics Closing Ceremony?

If you haven’t seen them yet, take a look at the jackets below. The team’s official outfitter Hudson’s Bay released the design for the jackets back in August 2020. But they didn’t make the internet go wild until April 2021, when Twitter user Brandi posted this Tweet.

The reactions to Brandi’s tweet poured in, from horrified to delighted. Many users appreciated the homage to the “Candian tuxedo,” which is when you pair a denim jacket or shirt with blue jeans. Hudson’s Bay design team actually said that’s what they were going for.

“We love the twist on the iconic Canadian tuxedo for the closing ceremony look… Tokyo is also known for its street art and fashion,” the Hudson’s Bay design team said in an Olympics Q&A. “We paid tribute to this in the must-have piece of the collection — the forever cool jean jacket. The graffiti graphic and unexpected patch placements capture a youthful and celebratory feel.”

With that rationale in mind, the design makes a little more sense. But when “The Athletic” talked to Henry Navarro Delgado, an associate professor in the school of fashion at Ryerson University, he had a different thought.

“It’s completely inadequate for that season, and especially in Japan, which gets really, really hot,” Delgado said. “That makes me scratch my head, whether this design team really did their homework, or they just slapped something together in a rush. That’s the only explanation I can find.”

Today, the Tokyo Olympics Closing Ceremony actually aired. And more fans have taken to Twitter to express their support or disdain. But what do the Canadian athletes think?

Members of Team Canada during the Closing Ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 08, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)

Canadian Athletes Talk Tokyo Olympics Closing Ceremony Jackets

Once again, reports are mixed. “The Toronto Star” talked to some Canadian athletes back in April about the jackets when they first when viral.

For Paralympian discus thrower Renee Foessel, the meaning of the denim tops appealed to her. But the aesthetic of the design wasn’t her favorite.

“Do I genuinely enjoy the visual of this jacket? No. Although after researching the rationale to the jacket design, I can appreciate the attempt to collide Tokyo fashion with Canadian fashion,” she said. “Although I do feel this falls short of an attempt to truly capture what those two cultures could look like as a whole.”

On the other hand, Paralympic boccia star Alison Levine was all in on the jackets.

“Closing ceremony attire is supposed to be fun and casual. This jacket has symbolism and had more thought put into it than people realize,” Levine said. “I think Canada would look pretty awesome parading into the stadium at the closing ceremonies in this jacket.”

Canadian Olympic race walker Evan Dunfee gave his input via Twitter. The bronze-medal winner joked about the jean jackets.

“I didn’t wear a pair of jeans until I got to university. My fashion opinions should mean nothing to nobody!” Dunfee wrote. “That said, I’m excited to wear this when my future child brings a partner to dinner for the first time.”