Michael Phelps Opening Ceremony Fashion Fail

Michael Phelps Opening Ceremony Rio H 2016
Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

It was lights out for Ralph Lauren.

Michael Phelps was supposed to be flying the fashion flag for Team USA Friday night at the Opening Ceremony in Rio, wearing a Ralph Lauren blazer with illuminated panels for all the world to see.

Except that the groovy special effect was lost on the viewing public in a serious fashion fail.

The flag bearer’s preppy blazer had battery-powered electroluminescent panels on front and back, intended to make the U.S. Olympic Team logo on the chest, and the "USA" on the back, glow. Ralph Lauren has been promoting the style stunt for days, as being an extension of its dedication to wearable tech.


A video posted by Ralph Lauren (@ralphlauren) on

To create this cutting-edge blazer, the Polo team took the standard-issue Opening Ceremony blazer — made in Rochester, New York, at the Hickey Freeman factory — and sent it to the Flex facility in Texas, where those electroluminescent panels were affixed.


A photo posted by USA Swimming (@usaswimming) on

The jacket was designed to be a point of national pride, beaming “USA” to the 80,000 people inside the stadium and the billions of people watching on TV, according to the brand's website.

Though the jacket was lackluster, the team's smiles shone bright.