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Oh Those Vancouver 2010 Red Mittens!

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The Toronto Star reports the Red Mitten program was a fluke and a last minute addition to the Vancouver 2010 official torch bearer's uniform from their initial design, to their sale to the public.

The uniform, designed by the Hudson's Bay Co., (HBC) was reportedly going to have plain white gloves, said Mark Kinnin, HBC's vice president, Olympics, following the guidelines set by VANOC. The uniform had to be white with sky blue and sea green accents, he said.

But just as the company was to unveil the torch bearer's uniform 13 months ago in Vancouver, Jeffrey Sherman, President and CEO of HBC and an American suggested it needed something a little extra, something a little more distinctly Canadian, something that would give it a little colour pop, reports the Star.

And that's how the red mittens were born.

Kinnin said, "we initially thought we could sell between 700,000 and one million pairs in July, August. When they hit the shelf in October our initial distribution was 300,000 pairs to the stores for the Oct. 1 launch of the Olympic collection. They lasted a week".

But eventually after re-ordering the mittens several times, 3.5 million pairs were sold. And the rest is history.

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