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Vogue: This Olympic Skater Designed Her Own Uniforms

Sarah Spellings, Vogue:

Given fashion’s long-standing love affair with insouciant skater style, it’s probably not surprising that one of the best uniforms from the Olympics came courtesy of skateboarder Lizzie Armanto. The American-Finnish athlete’s blue-on-blue kit, with swirling abstract lines resembling topography, was actually designed by Armanto herself, in collaboration with Vans and designer Rachael Finley.

“I saw a lot of the other team uniforms and that’s exactly how they felt to me: like major league sports uniforms,” Armanto told Vogue in an email. “I wanted to keep the authenticity of skate and ensure I still looked like I was wearing something I would wear with or without the Olympics.” She designed 12 pieces in total, including gear for the coaches. Everything is meant to be interchangeable as well as functional. Armanto competed in a short-sleeve jumpsuit yesterday and white socks emblazoned with the Vans logo. The color scheme continued with her teal and cobalt shoes and turquoise hair.

Those distinctive squiggles were actually an homage to Finland, the country Armanto was competing for. Specifically, she was inspired by architect and designer Alvar Aalto. “In 1939, he designed a kidney-shaped swimming pool which became synonymous with pool skateboarding much later in the ’70s,” Armanto says. “The various patterns on the jumpsuits are modeled after empty swimming pools around the world.”

Skateboarding was one of the best parts of the Olympics. In stark contrast with some of the other sports, the skateboarders actually seemed to come across — how they were dressed, talking, and otherwise — as themselves. Loved it.