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2008/5/2 Swimwear (2), womens and mens, nylon / lycra, designed and made by Speedo Australia, Australia, before 1991, made for the Australian national swimming team at the World Championships, Perth, Western Australia, Australia, 1991. Click to enlarge.

Swimwear designed and made by Speedo

Designed
Australian swimwear manufacturers, Speedo Australia, designed and made the men's and women's costumes for the Australian team that competed at the World Swimming Championships in Perth in 1991. These costumes are surplus examples from that range. Speedo designer, Gloria Smythe, developed the pattern that represents the Southern Cross and the colours of FINA (Féderation International de Natation), the international swimming organisation. Speedo swatches with this design are held in the Powerhouse Museum collection (Powerhouse Museum object numbers 92/1695 and 92/1969).

The Museum has an extensive collection of Speedo swimwear and accessories dating from the 1930s to the present including designs produced for the Australian Olympic Games team from 1964 to 2004, the Australian Commonwealth Games team from 1970-2002 and numerous international Olympic teams. This collection is complemented by the Speedo archive which includes scrapbooks, catalogues, posters, newsletters, stickers, photographs, video footage and badges.

Speedo's origins lie in MacRae Knitting Mills, manufacturer of cotton and wool knitwear. They produced their first swimming costumes in Sydney, Australia in the late 1920s and in 1928 held a competition to find a name for their new swimwear line. So successful was a staff member's catchy slogan 'Speed on in your Speedo', they changed the company name to Speedo.

From the beginning Speedo focussed their attention on producing competitive swimwear complemented by a range of leisure swimwear and knitted apparel and the Museum's Speedo collection and archive illustrates the evolution of swimwear styles and fabrics designed to reduce water resistance and enhance speed. By the 1980s most of the world's top competitive swimmers were competing in Speedo's.

Summary

Object No.

2008/5/2

Object Statement

Swimwear (2), womens and mens, nylon / lycra, designed and made by Speedo Australia, Australia, before 1991, made for the Australian national swimming team at the World Championships, Perth, Western Australia, Australia, 1991

Physical Description

A womenss swimsuit, Southern Cross star constellation design, made of lycra and nylon, which consists of one piece racerback swimsuit.Swimsuit has a printed design in black, white, blue, green, pink and yellow, which consists of a black background with a rainbow strip extending from the left shoulde across the breast and around to the hip. On the lefthang side of the rainbow decoration is a black circle on the upperleft side are three black stars on a white section. At the righthand side of the rainbow decoration are two black stars with a transfer sticker of the Speedo logo on a white triangular section. Attatched to the lefthand side of the swimsuit is rectangular a paper swing tag with printed text ' EVERYBODY LOVES SPEEDO® / SPEEDO® / (Speedo logo) / (barcode) / STYLE 66176 MEDALIST / COLOR 632 MULTICOLOR / SIZE 10 GIRLS' on reverse ' ' EVERYBODY LOVES SPEEDO® / SPEEDO® / (Speedo logo) / THIS IS A FASHION / FLUORESCENT / GARMENT / THESE VIBRANT COLORS CANNOT / BE GUARANTEED TO BE / COMPLETELY COLORFAST WHEN / EXPOSED TO SALTWATER, / CHLORINE AND SUNLIGHT. / made in Australia / Speedo®Registered Trademark of Speedo International Group of Companies' Inside of righthand side is a rectangular fabric label with printed text in blue and red which reads ' SPEEDO® / (Speedo logo) / size 10 (30') / To fit chest 75/30 / Nylon Elastane / Made in Australia / ®Registered Trademark' on reverse of the label is washing instructions.

A mens swimsuit, Southern Cross star constellation design, made of nylon, which consists a pair of mens swimming briefs with a nylon drawstring around top. Swimsuit has printed design with a black background with a design in black, white, blue, green, pink and yellow. The upper righthand side of the brief is white with a rainbow and black circular pattern extending from the waistband to the leg, the black sections of the motif have five white stars. The Speedo logo transfer sticker is located at the right hip. At the left hand side of the swimsuit are five white stars representing the Southern Cross, on a black background. A singular white star is also located center right. Attatched to the lefthand side of the swimsuit is rectangular a paper swing tag with printed text ' EVERYBODY LOVES SPEEDO® / SPEEDO® / (Speedo logo) / (barcode) / STYLE 61176 PERTH SUIT/ COLOUR 632 MULTICOLOUR / SIZE 12 BOYS' on reverse ' ' EVERYBODY LOVES SPEEDO® / SPEEDO® / (Speedo logo) / made in Australia / Speedo®Registered Trademark of Speedo International Group of Companies' Inside of righthand side is a rectangular fabric label with printed text in blue and red which reads ' SPEEDO® / (Speedo logo) / size 12 (28") / To fit waist 70/28 / Nylon Elastane / Made in Australia / ®Registered Trademark' on reverse of the label is washing instructions.

Production

Notes

Australian swimwear manufacturers, Speedo Australia, designed and made the men's and women's costumes for the Australian team that competed at the World Swimming Championships in Perth in 1991. These costumes are surplus examples from that range. Speedo designer, Gloria Smythe, developed the pattern that represents the Southern Cross and the colours of FINA (Féderation International de Natation), the international swimming organisation.

History

Notes

The donor acquired these costumes from her friend and former Olympic swimmer, John Devitt, who won gold medals for Australia at the 1956 and 1960 Olympic Games. Devitt wanted to dispose of these items following the closure of his swimwear shop in Sydney.

Source

Credit Line

Gift of Gloria Smythe, 2008

Acquisition Date

17 January 2008

Cite this Object

Harvard

Swimwear designed and made by Speedo 2020, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 24 September 2020, <https://ma.as/371870>

Wikipedia

{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/371870 |title=Swimwear designed and made by Speedo |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=24 September 2020 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}

Incomplete

This object record is currently incomplete. Other information may exist in a non-digital form. The Museum continues to update and add new research to collection records.