Brad Peterson raised his eyebrows a bit when the Winter Olympics opened last weekend. Into the stadium in South Korea walked Team USA in red, white and blue sweaters and coats -- and with its athletes’ hands snug in what looked rather like gloves and mittens produced by the Colorado company he co-founded, Astis.
The hitch: Ralph Lauren got the credit for the design, which Peterson tells Colorado Matters was inspired by a pair of Cree mittens he’d gotten from a friend. On top of that, Peterson says people at Ralph Lauren had been reaching out to the company -- and then stopped. Something nefarious? Ralph Lauren's company says no, and issued this statement:
The American West has been a well established source of inspiration for Ralph Lauren, and the design team had always conceived of creating a western-inspired glove for Team USA’s Opening Ceremony uniform. We explored production with a number of manufacturing partners to execute the design vision. The gloves were inspired by vintage ranch gloves and rugged western style, and are not modeled from an Astis product.