London Set for Olympic Gold Rush

The British fashion flock are already into the Olympic spirit with the news that London nosed out Paris in the bid for the 2012 Summer Games.

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"I love to watch the Games, and I cry every time someone wins," she said. "And of course I'd love to dress some of the athletes. That kind of project would be great because it's not just about fashion. They're athletes, so it has a double edge."

Cox, a London-based Canadian, said the people who live and work in central London would get the best of both worlds. "The bedlam will be in the East End — so removed from the center of town, and we'll be getting the top end of the tourism."

Cox, who's done special-edition sneakers for the Atlanta Olympics and other international sports events, said he'd definitely create a new design to mark the event.

He added that London's win was also the "most fabulous possible" snub to French President Jacques Chirac, who, like so many other Frenchman through the years, insulted English food during the campaigning. "I think it's a sign the French need to change their leader," Cox said.

Across the English Channel, the news that Paris lost out drew mixed reactions. Karl Lagerfeld, another transplanted designer, clearly wasn't weeping for France's loss. A few days before the announcement, the German-born, Paris-based designer said he wasn't thrilled about the French bid — but purely from an aesthetic perspective.

"I only hope they get rid of that neon thing in front of the parliament, which is an embarrassment to Paris," he said, referring to the gigantic Paris 2012 eyesore plastered on the elegant columns of the National Assembly building. "It's beyond horrible. I like Las Vegas — but not in Paris."

Although the British media were quick to credit Lord Sebastian Coe, the former Olympic gold medalist and chairman of the London bid, and Prime Minister Tony Blair for Wednesday's victory, it was patently clear the secret weapon was David Beckham, one of the East End's native sons and captain of England's national soccer team.

On Tuesday, before the voting began, Beckham addressed members of the International Olympic Committee in Singapore. He told them he used to canoe on the River Lea — where some of the Olympic water sports will be held.
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