Infobox Company
name = Speedo International Limited

type = Private
foundation = Bondi Beach, New South Wales, Australia (Start date|1914)
founder = Alexander MacRae
location_city = Nottingham
location_country = England
key_people =
area_served =
industry =
products = Swimwear
revenue =
operating_income =
net_income =
num_employees =
parent = Pentland Group
subsid =
homepage = [http://www.speedo.com/ www.speedo.com]

Speedo is a manufacturer of swimwear and accessories. The company was started by Alexander MacRae under the name of MacRae Hosiery Manufacturers in Bondi Beach, an inner-eastern suburb of Sydney, Australia.

Today the company is headquartered in Nottingham, England, and is owned by the London-based Pentland Group. The company is currently the world's largest-selling swimwear brand and manufactures products for both recreational and competitive swimming.


The company was founded in 1914 by hosiery manufacturer Alexander MacRae, who migrated from Scotland to Australia in 1910, as McRae Hosiery Manufacturers, then MacRae Knitting Mills [http://www.speedo.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=117&Itemid=127&cc=global&lc=en Speedo official website, History 1910s] ] in an effort to expand his company into swimwear. In 1928, the name Speedo was first adopted after the firm developed its Racerback design of swimwear, [http://www.speedo.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=118&Itemid=127&cc=global&lc=en Speedo official website, History 1920s] ] making it one of the first manufacturers to specifically produce athletic designs. The name was made up by a Captain Jim Parsonson who won a company competition with the slogan "Speed on in your Speedos".

During World War II the manufacturer shifted nearly all of its production to war materials such as mosquito nets. Speedo resumed production after the war and became a publicly traded corporation in 1951. In 1955, Speedo introduced nylon into its fabric for competitive swimwear. The 1956 Summer Olympics in Melbourne saw the widespread debut of the new fabric and the introduction of the style of mens briefs that has become associated with the brand. The company quickly expanded into the international arena from there until the present, boasting that 70 percent of swimming medals were won by athletes wearing its products in the Olympic Games of 1968, 1972, 1976, and 2008.

During the 1970s and 1980s, new fabrics such as lycra were incorporated into the company's swimwear design. During the late 1990s, the company turned its attention to its Aquablade and Fastskin lines of competitive swimwear. The designs employ new fabrics that the company claims will reduce resistance in the water by replicating biological skin characteristics of various marine animals such as sharks.

In March 2007 in an attempt to appeal to a younger audience, Speedo's collaboration with Japanese brand Comme des Garcons hit UK fashion store Topshop with a collection of classic womens Speedos decorated with quirky Comme des Garcons designs. [ [http://www.sassybella.com/column/index.php/2007/03/27/comme-des-garcon-speedo-for-topshop/ SASSYBELLA.com » Blog Archive » Comme des Garcon & Speedo for Topshop ] ]


Though it still manufactures the traditional briefs, jammers, and racerback designs that made the company famous, Speedo's latest competitive swimwear designs incorporate suits that provide greater coverage to the arms, legs, and even full body for their top end lineup. Their high-end suits often sell for in excess of US$300 for the Fastskin II and FS Pro series. The company also continues to manufacture recreational swimwear, goggles, earplugs, swim caps, towels, robes, sportswear and other logo clothing, watches, sandals, beach volleyball and triathlon products, lifeguard gear, and training supplies for competitive and recreational swimmers.

On January 12, 2008, the company launched the LZR Racer suit, made of a new high-technology swimwear fabric they call LZR Pulse fabric and composed of a light weight woven fabric with polyurethane panels to reduce drag. [ [http://www.speedo.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=822&Itemid=158&lc=en&cc=global=en Press Release for SPEEDO LZR Racer] ] [ [http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080415/sc_nm/swimming_bodysuits_dc_3;_ylt=AtDMe1I_O5OGd77tCEJWEdwE1vAI Reuters: Space-age suit races into uncharted waters] ] This suit has been developed in association with NASA and the Australian Institute of Sport as well as the support of Speedo's sponsored athletes, and it is claimed once again to be the world's fastest swimsuit [ [http://www.physorg.com/news123416635.html=en Engineering the world's fastest swimsuit at PhysOrg.Com] ] . This was the focus of Speedo's campaign for the Beijing Olympics, spearheaded by Michael Phelps of the U.S., recent winner of eight Olympic Gold Medals. It also continues the collaboration with Comme des Garcons introducing an element of fashion to a performance suit for the first time. As of Start date|2008|8|14, 62 world records have been broken by swimmers wearing a LZR Racer. [Wall Street Journal: "Fast Times", http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121865005500237497.html] [http://www.speedo80.com/lzr-racer/features/]


Many of sportswear and designer fashion companies, such as Nike and Adidas have expanded their merchandise to reflect recent trends in water sport (and present direct competition to Speedo), offering multiple lines of sports swimwear and fashion-based swimwear.


Athletes who have been sponsored by Speedo includes Grant Hackett, Michael Klim, Megan Jendrick, Greg Louganis, Janet Evans, Liam Tancock, Michael Phelps, [http://www.speedo.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=126&Itemid=127&cc=global&lc=en Speedo official website, History 2000s] ] Lewis Gordon Pugh, Natalie Coughlin, Ryan Lochte, Ian Crocker, Amanda Beard, Dawn Fraser, Wu Peng, and Kosuke Kitajima.


External links

* [http://www.speedo.com/ Speedo.com]
* [http://www.speedousa.com/ Speedo USA]

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Speedo — Tipo Sociedad Anónima Fundación  Australia (1928) …   Wikipedia Español

  • Speedo — International Ltd. Год основания 1914 Основатели Alexander MacRae Расположение …   Википедия

  • Speedo — trademark name of a brand of swimwear, 1928, originally made by McRae Hosiery Manufacturers, Australia. From SPEED (Cf. speed) …   Etymology dictionary

  • speedo — ► NOUN (pl. speedos) informal ▪ a speedometer …   English terms dictionary

  • Speedo — Das Logo des Herstellers Speedo ist ein Schwimmartikelhersteller, dessen Geschichte bis ins Jahr 1914 zurückreicht, als das australische Unternehmen MacRae Knitting Mills versuchte, seine Produktpalette um Schwimmbekleidung zu erweitern. Daneben… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Speedo —    In 1910, the Scottish immigrant Alexander MacRae (1888 circa 1930) moved to Australia and, in 1914, opened MacRae Knitting Mills, a hosiery factory on Bondi Beach. He expanded his product line to include swimwear in 1928 and the name speedo… …   Historical Dictionary of the Fashion Industry

  • Speedo — Logo de Speedo Dates clés 1914 : Création …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Speedo — noun A tight fitting bathing suit, often used for competitive swimming, especially for a female. Her Speedo needed to be very tight …   Wiktionary

  • speedo — n Speedometer. The speedo was showing 35 mph but we seemed to be going much faster. 1930s …   Historical dictionary of American slang

  • speedo — noun (plural speedos) Etymology: by alteration Date: 1934 chiefly British speedometer …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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