Czechs to Debut in Bold Collection by Designer Jan Černý and with Amulet from Lasvit

Czechs to Debut in Bold Collection by Designer Jan Černý and with Amulet from Lasvit

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Czech athletes will appear at the opening ceremony in national colors, but most notably in an unconventional design by Jan Černý. The most prominent feature of this collection is a coat that combines the Czech raincoat and the French trench coat, creating a symbolic link between the Czech Republic and France. In the past, the Czech Republic has showcased rubber boots, indigo prints, folk costumes, models with a deconstructed Czech flag, and collections inspired by Alfons Mucha. A glass amulet from Lasvit will complement the ceremonial collection.

This year, at the ceremony in Paris, in front of millions of viewers, the team will present a more relaxed, unisex collection that introduces new modern elements and a less conservative approach. As the designer states:

I am satisfied and feel that I have given my all. I have no regrets about holding back or making any compromises.

Jan Černý, creating under the brand Jan Société, was selected for the collaboration by the Czech Olympic Committee and its official partner Alpine Pro. This talented designer has risen in a few years from a design student in Zlín to one of the most prominent figures in the new wave of Czech fashion. He designs collections for established Czech brands, breathing new life into them. Among other achievements, he has redesigned the classic Czech work boots Prestige and serves as the creative director of Kara, a traditional manufacturer of leather and fur fashion. Černý has also gained experience in London and Paris. In Paris, he interned at the iconic brand Louis Vuitton, acquiring expertise in French fashion, which was also sought by the Czech Olympic Committee. "I think it is essential that we, as a small country, can capture attention with a striking yet very contemporary and relevant look," explained the designer regarding his vision.

Photo: Jakub Zeman, source: olympijskytym.cz

When designing the collection that Czech Olympians will wear at the opening ceremony in the center of Paris, Černý sought a feature that would connect his beloved Paris with traditional Czech fashion. He found this feature in the oversized coat, which became the most distinctive element of the entire collection. He was inspired by the idea of athletes floating on the Seine. "I thought: Let's work with the effect of air, let's work with the fact that there is a breeze on the river. This gives us the effect of movement for free. At that moment, the idea of the coat was born," he described. The chairman of the Czech Olympic Committee was also very pleased with this element. "We always want the collection for the ceremonial opening to honor the host country as well, and the coat fulfills this," adds Jiří Kejval.

The white-blue coat is adorned with an ink-blue Rorschach pattern. It is an ode to the work of graphic artist and painter Vladimír Boudník, who was born in 1924, the last time the Olympic Games were held in Paris. In his work, Boudník drew inspiration from this well-known psychological test with cards and abstract inkblots, in which everyone finds their interpretations, revealing personality, thoughts, and emotions.

Photo: Jakub Zeman, source: olympijskytym.cz

The entire collection is also designed so that its cuts can be worn by both men and women, differing only in size. The intention was to create a genderless look, which Černý has already worked with in his designs. "This collection blends with my aesthetic, which from the beginning enjoys the combination of workwear and streetwear. With looser uniform and street garments, it doesn't matter if you're wearing a women's or men's hoodie - it will fit you the same." Therefore, the selection of the right materials was crucial to achieve a more relaxed look that would fit everyone. "Materials had to be well-combined - how each one drapes, how it hugs the body. I'm happy that I managed to create something that works for everyone. I'm surprised myself at how great it looks when I tried it on myself and others."

"I think it's quite an unconventional thing. Now, when I see what France or other countries will be wearing at the ceremony, they often choose really classic things like suits and dresses or focus on sportswear. We will stand out more." The fashion collection continues to feature national colors, but in muted shades. "It seems to me that when three sharp shades of colors are placed next to each other, it's not harmonious. So I decided to mute them all, to turn blue into navy blue and white into cream. Historically, gold was added to the designs, but I'm glad we could go in a slightly different direction," said Černý.

I will want to proudly wear it all the time, I won't leave it in the closet.

National colors are visible on polo shirts and trousers. A surprising pea green accent, which deliberately contrasts with the traditional red-blue-white combination, is found on the scarf, socks, sneakers, and visible labels. Other details on the clothing include flag motifs or the CZE inscriptions. The final element of the ceremonial collection is the dark blue shoes from Alpine Pro. Jan Černý adds that he didn't have to make any compromises in his designs and stuck to his vision. "I'm glad that the Czech Olympic Committee and the chairman immediately appreciated the first proposal and the direction I wanted to take."

Photo: Jakub Zeman, source: olympijskytym.cz 

The collection will also include perhaps the most famous Czech artifact – glass. The amulet, designed by Černý in collaboration with the Czech brand Lasvit, is in the shape of a linden leaf, which is one of the symbols of the Czech Republic. It is meant to provide athletes with protection and strength during their sporting performances.

Photo: Jakub Zeman, source: olympijskytym.cz 

"It is clear that not everyone will like it, and the collection will find its detractors. But as far as the young audience and a somewhat different than sports scene, this is exactly what we needed and what can ensure our breakthrough to a completely different group of people. I think that is also the purpose of the Olympics. I'm very glad that the Olympic team dared and went for something like this," says silver Olympic canoeist Lukáš Rohan, who participated in the creation of the collection from the athletes' perspective. Runner Kristiina Sasínek Mäki intends to use the coat even after the Olympics. "I will want to proudly wear it all the time, I won't leave it in the closet. It's great that the collection has Czech colors and sports elements, and at the same time is fashionable. I like the brutally special collection a lot. It's nice, dignified, cool, just great. It seems mega cool to me and I look forward to being able to wear it," she said.

"No one will overlook us in the crowd. That's exactly what we want to achieve in the heart of Paris, the fashion capital," said Jiří Kejval, chairman of the Czech Olympic Committee. "My generation might be surprised by the design of the collection for the ceremonial opening, but it will mainly be worn by young people, for whom Jan Černý's work is close. And if athletes feel good in their clothes, they also have the necessary confidence for their sporting performance, which we are all looking forward to."

The same collection will also be worn by the Czech Paralympic team, albeit with minor adjustments. "Instead of coats, our athletes will have shorter jackets, which are more suitable for wheelchair athletes. The rest of the ceremonial collection is identical, so the Paralympians will go to Paris exactly in the spirit of their motto 'Same, but different," said Zbyněk Sýkora, chairman of the Czech Paralympic Committee. Rower and basketball player Tomáš Nevěčný commented: "I'm not completely used to this style, but the collection is very interesting design-wise, very imaginative and extravagant, I like it. For me as a wheelchair user, the most important thing is that it fits perfectly, nothing is tight, and the shorter jacket is a great idea."

Photo: Jakub Zeman, source: olympijskytym.cz

"The most important thing is that athletes feel good in the collection and that it represents the current young design that is emerging in the Czech Republic. I think it is essential that we, as a small country, can attract attention with a striking, yet very contemporary and relevant look, and draw attention to ourselves. I look forward to seeing how the collection will look in the environment of Paris – the city of fashion, compared to the collections of other countries. The first feedback from athletes who have already seen the collection is extremely positive, which gives me a great sense of satisfaction," summarized Černý. "It's a big deal for me and I appreciate it very much. I've thought about it for a long time and told myself that I wanted to do something for the Czech Republic because I was born and raised here, and that influenced me in many ways. Then I went to Paris for an internship at Louis Vuitton, but I always felt the desire to return here and contribute back to our country and our national pride. However, I felt that the Olympic clothing could be more up-to-date than it was at the last Olympics."

Czech athletes will present themselves on the Seine River in an original collection at the opening of the Olympic Games on July 26 and will compete for medals in Paris until August 11. 2024.

 
 
 
 
  
 

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Published 02.07.2024

Dominika je studentkou antropologie na Univerzitě Karlově. Pochází z rodiny novinářů, takže k rozhovorům to neměla nikdy daleko. Vyrůstala uprostřed neustálého cestování po Evropě, které v ní probudilo lásku k poznávání různorodých kultur a navazování nových vztahů. Je vášnivou cestovatelkou a ráda objevuje nové obzory. Svojí každodennost ráda naplňuje prostými radostmi života, jako je šálek čerstvé kávy nebo melodie její oblíbené písně.

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