David Lauren, son of designer Ralph and chief innovation officer of Polo Ralph Lauren, was thrilled to announce that his company that made the outfits for more than 700 USA Team both Olympic and Paralympic athletes as well as coaches and staff, gave each person a very special jacket for the Olympics’ opening ceremonies’ parade on February 9, 2018. They also received another heated bomber jacket to wear for the closing ceremonies.
The technology of this extraordinary battery-powered parka includes a flexible and heated panel that is under a foot long and is shaped like an American flag; it is comprised of conductive silver and carbon inks electronically printed and bonded to the interior of the jacket. For power, there is a power cord that begins at the panel and works its way down to the jacket’s right-side front pocket, which contains a number of cords and a rechargeable battery pack that can be removed. Two simple buttons on the battery pack control the heat settings. One turns it on, and the other large, glove-friendly button turns it between low and high heat.
This heated parka and all its gadgetry were in development for over a year, and will be well-appreciated in the frigid South Korea temperatures. It can also be worn later as a nice jacket in any season whether the heat is on or off as it will not go out of style. Feedback from the Olympic participants will be a determining factor as to how this design can be evolved into other products that the company plans to make in the future.
When fewer than 100 of these parkas were released in a very limited number to stores, at a cost of $2,495 each, they sold out in less than 20 minutes and quickly became listed on eBay for $7,000 each!