As the nation’s best athletes dig into their final rounds of preparations for the Paris Olympic Games in July and the Paralympic Games in August, there’s one thing Team USA can cross off their to-do list: figuring out which underwear and sweatpants they’re going to lounge in during their downtime in the Olympic Village.

Kim Kardashian and her intimates and loungewear brand Skims are running back their partnership with Team USA for the Summer Games, which debuts today with a new campaign starring a host of Olympic and Paralympic athletes: gymnast Sunisa Lee; sprinters Fred Kerley and Gabby Thomas; dual-team sprinter and soccer midfielder Nick Mayhugh; and swimmers Jessica Long and Caeleb Dressel.

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The upcoming Paris Games marks Skims’s third official partnership with Team USA, which began with “off-duty” womenswear collections at the Tokyo’s Summer Olympics in 2021 and Beijing’s Winter Olympics in 2022. This latest outing will be the first to include menswear, following the launch of a Skims men’s line last fall, “after so many male athletes were requesting it the past two Games,” Kardashian told GQ in an email. The new collection will include patriotic printed underwear, T-shirts, swimsuits, loungewear, as well as updated adaptive pieces designed for athletes with disabilities.

From its ongoing Team USA collaborations to a multiyear partnership as the “official underwear” of the NBA and WNBA, professional sports have become a pillar of Skims’s branding strategy. They’ve tapped pro athletes—who, occupationally, tend to make good underwear spokesmodels—from across the sports world for its campaigns; when Skims’s menswear debuted, the inaugural ads starred the NBA’s Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, the NFL’s Nick Bosa, and soccer superstar Neymar Jr. (Timely, star-studded campaigns, such as one featuring a shredded Usher ahead of his Super Bowl performance, are another Skims hallmark.)

Per Kardashian, who describes herself as an athlete and grew up in an Olympic family—her former stepparent, Caitlyn Jenner, won a gold medal in the decathlon at the 1976 Games—this is intentional. “Skims is very personal to me and an extension of who I am, so my interests are often reflected in the brand and where we position ourselves,” said Kardashian.

“Sports and fitness have always been really important in our family growing up,” she explained. “Whether it’s skiing every winter or playing a game of tennis on the courts with my parents—or now, with my own children, showing up to cheer on my kids at a soccer or basketball game—I love the way it brings everyone together.”

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For Kardashian’s Skims co-founder Jens Grede, the Team USA collaboration is also personal. “We all want to be involved with things that make our kids excited,” Grede told me in a Zoom interview. Plus, he added, “the intersection of sport and fashion has just never been [more] relevant,” citing the rising stock of the tunnel walk among the WNBA’s stylish rookie class. “For us as a brand that tries to be in the moment, that tries to add to the conversation of popular culture, we always pursue those opportunities.”

While fashion designers have crafted Olympic uniforms for decades, high-profile commercial collaborations are an increasingly visible part of the Games’ promotional cycle. As reported by GQ’s Tom Lamont, the French billionaire Bernard Arnault, owner of the luxury-goods conglomerate LVMH, and his family have implanted their products, from custom Louis Vuitton medal trunks to flowing bottles of celebratory Moët, across this summer’s Parisian Games. The opportunities for branding run deep—right down to the skivvies.

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