Photo by Tony Cenicola/The New York Times

New York Fashion Week and the 21st Winter Olympic Games may be jostling for the same real estate on your calendar, but they go together like, well, six-inch stilettos and bobsled racing. Not so, perhaps, for the Rodarte sisters, who have promising careers in activewear if they ever tire of being fashion’s darlings du jour. In a crossover event of epic proportions, Laura and Kate Mulleavy have designed a collection of custom knitwear for a New York Times Magazine photo essay featuring the likes of freestyle skier Emily Cook, snowboarder Shaun White, and figure skater Johnny Weir.

Rodarte custom knits for Winter Olympics, Kate and Laura Mulleavy, Rodarte, Winter Olympics, eco-fashion, sustainable fashion, green fashion, winter knits

Photo by Tony Cenicola/The New York Times


Not that the high-flying athletes will actually be wearing the fringy, loopy, and open-weave sweaters, pants, and bodysuits on the alabaster slopes of Vancouver, of course. “They are definitely more high fashion than high performance,” notes Times writer Alix Browne.

“They are definitely more high fashion than high performance,” notes the New York Times Magazine.

The Mulleavys pow-wowed with each athlete before deciding upon looks that simulated their uniforms but still expressed the raw pastiche that Rodarte has honed to precision. “We looked at each sport and played with the idea of what each athlete was used to wearing and what we would be able to ask them to wear in place or in addition to that,” they tell Browne. “Overall, the most difficult part of this project was realizing pieces that could allow them to be themselves.”

Keeping the scope of the project restricted to knits didn’t stifle their creativity, however. Far from it. Add the Mulleavy sisters: “Focusing solely on knits for this project pushed our experimentation with this medium into new territories, which was really exciting for us.”

+ New York Times Magazine

+ Rodarte