Canadians seeing red at the Olympics

The Vancouver 2010 red mitts are hard to get your hands on.
Photo Credit: Shayna Wiwierski

Ripped jeans, bow headbands, boyfriend blazers… and red mitts? Who needs fashion week when the hottest item of the season is here at home for an affordable $10.

The Vancouver 2010 red mittens, which featured a maple leaf on the palm and “Vancouver 2010” with the Olympic rings stitched on the back, were the hottest item during the Games. So much so that the mitts, sold and distributed by the Hudson’s Bay Company, have already sold close to 3.5 million pairs since their debut last February, according to Time Magazine.

The mitts have been so popular that they have been nearly impossible to find.

“They are being sold like hot cakes and I check on a semi-regular basis and I just find the youth which are way too small. I ask the attendants and they say to check back again next week or a couple of weeks,” says Mauricio Alfaro, 27, a customer service rep for Inspyre Solutions Inc.

The last shipments for the mitts were the week of February 4, 2010, according to the Hudson’s Bay Company website. They got even more popular after their appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show, where Oprah Winfrey herself gave away 300 pairs of the coveted items.

So far, the revenue made from the mitts has generated over $12 million in net proceeds, says Jeffrey Shermen, CEO of the Hudson’s Bay Company, in a Time Magazine article. However, the company won’t see a dime of that money.

The proceeds from the mitts go directly to the funding of the Own the Podium Initiative, a five-year plan that provided Canadian athletes with top equipment and training for the 2010 Winter Games.

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Shayna Wiwierski of Red River College

  • Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
  • User since Nov 2nd 2009, 08:53