Home » Our new Paralympic team uniforms bring the right trends to the runway

Our new Paralympic team uniforms bring the right trends to the runway

Having competed in Beijing, London, Rio and Tokyo – picking up two gold, three silver and a bronze medal along the way – de Rozario provided valuable feedback to team chef de mission Kate McLoughlin and the R.M. Williams’ designers.

Accessibility features such as enlarged push studs in place of buttons, elasticated waistbands for
shorts and chinos, and those zip closure sneakers are among the expected customisation. Ditching skirts and dresses from the wardrobe line-up is an unexpected update, tapping into the current genderless dressing trend.

Cyclist Gordon Allan and wheelchair racer Madison de Rozario inspect their uniforms by R.M. Williams. Credit: Rhett Wyman

“I have always opted for shorts and pants,” de Rozario says. “Many athletes in wheelchairs don’t feel confident wearing a skirt.”

“The men’s and women’s uniform is literally the same,” says Allen. “There’s been none of what I call pinking of the design. Everyone is on equal footing. It’s a subtle change, but it’s important.”

Incorporating First Nations designs is another key decision, further pushing our Paralympians ahead of many designers on the fashion week calendar. Their uniform features The Journey, an artwork by Indigenous artist Rheanna Lotter with eight circles for Australia’s states and territories and tracks representing the connection between athletes and boomerangs.

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The artwork has featured in every Paralympic uniform since 2016 and is used on the lining of the bomber jackets and across T-shirts.

“We are one of the few national teams that wear their country’s story on their uniform,” says chef de mission McLoughlin. “It will be great to bring that spirit to the Champs-Elysees.”

McLoughlin isn’t worried about the notoriously stylish French or the pointed opinions of the fashion week front row. It’s the Canadians that you have to watch out for.

“The other teams are jealous of our kit and this year won’t be different,” she says. “Our Akubras are hot property. At one Games a Canadian offered their entire uniform for a hat.”

“No one lets go of them. They’re like our Baggy Green. We’re proud to wear them and this uniform.”

The Paris 2024 Paralympic Games will take place from August 28 to September 8.

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