The newest Olympic swag: underwear by Kim Kardashian

Dalilah Muhammad, a US track and field athlete, modeling SKIMS’ Olympic collection.
Dalilah Muhammad, a US track and field athlete, modeling SKIMS’ Olympic collection.
Image: Skims/Vanessa Beecroft
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Kim Kardashian West’s underwear and shapewear company, SKIMS, has landed a deal with the US Olympic team to provide underwear, loungewear, and sleepwear to all 626 female Olympic and Paralympic athletes competing for the US squad in Tokyo.

It’s a victory for the nearly two-year-old company, even if SKIMS products might not be visible on athletes as they compete or ascend the medal stand. The deal gives more credibility to the young brand, which bills itself as providing functional undergarments that both shape and stretch with their wearer. And SKIMS, which sells online and through retailers such as Nordstrom and Selfridges, will get the chance to sell the pieces to the public exclusively on its website, beginning July 12.

Kardashian West announced the news to her 232 million followers on Instagram yesterday, saying the company is “designing the official team USA undergarments, pajamas and lounge wear.” A press release from SKIMS explained the collection was created for athletes to cool down, recover, and sleep in during the competition. (The press release says the collection includes “sleepwear and loungewear” but doesn’t mention underwear. Though whether underwear is included may depend on your definition of underwear. Certainly some of the pieces could be used as undergarments.)

Campaign images of the Skims Olympic collection
Olympians Haley Anderson, Scout Bassett, and A’ja Wilson wearing the Skims Olympic collection.
Image: Skims/Vanessa Beecroft

Though the items apparently aren’t meant for use in competition, the US Olympic team takes even sleep and lounging seriously. “Our top priority is providing our athletes with the tools and support needed to compete at the highest level, and we’re excited to work with SKIMS to bring this unparalleled level of comfort to Team USA athletes and fans,” Peter Zeytoonjian, senior vice president of consumer products at U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Properties, said in SKIMS’ press release.

Marketing through the Olympics

The games, and the enormous visibility they provide, are a marketing opportunity for the companies involved in outfitting Olympic teams. Ralph Lauren, which is again providing the looks the US team will wear during the closing ceremony, is already selling the items the Olympians will wear on its site. Nike, which makes uniforms for US athletes, has also historically used the games as a way to introduce new products it later offers for general sale.

Not only will SKIMS sell the items, but US Olympians and Paralympians Alex Morgan, Dalilah Muhammad, Scout Bassett, Haley Anderson, and A’ja Wilson appeared in a campaign showing off the collection.

Kardashian West noted in her Instagram post that, as a child, she would hear about the Olympics and travel to trials with stepparent Caitlyn Jenner, who competed in multiple games, winning gold in track and field for the US team in 1976. At each stop, she said, “I would buy an Olympic t-shirt as a souvenir.” Shoppers will now get a chance to buy some Olympic swag from SKIMS, too.