HBC’s Olympic mittens are the it item at the Games

HBC’s Olympic mittens are the it item at the Games

HBC's Olympic mittens went from torchbearer uniform to best-seller (Photo by Delaney Turner)

While the ubiquitous red mittens haven’t reached the status of the blue Roots berets everyone wore during the ’98 games (which, in retrospect, were kind of a fashion don’t), the Hudson’s Bay Company’s woolly mitts have become the must-have item for the Vancouver Games.

The Star interviewed a bunch of Torontonians who are praising how the mittens, which are made in China, make them proud to be Canadian. News 1130 is getting people in a frenzy by declaring that last week’s shipment of one million mittens was the last, and once they’re gone, they’re gone. The Vancouver Sun dismissed rumours that the gloves are in short supply (there’s an entire wall of them at The Bay at Fairview Mall and a pile on the second floor at the Yonge and Queen location, for those who are looking). CTV even reports that the mittens’ popularity has already led to counterfeits.

It’s somewhat amazing that a victor has emerged from this year’s merchandising free-for-all, since Lululemon, DSquared2, Old Navy, Chapters and Indigo and former official Olympic clothier Roots have their own lines of garb for the Games. The mittens were originally worn by the torchbearers, but their popularity led to them being sold to the public. About two million pairs have been sold so far.

$10 Olympic mittens a runaway success [Toronto Star]
Get ’em before they are gone [News 1130]
• Five Olympic myths busted [Vancouver Sun]
Fake Olympic mittens for sale in Vancouver [CTV]