Founded in 1914 under the name ‘Fortitude’, Speedo was started by a young Scottish man called Alexander MacRae who migrated to Australia in 1910. The brand began as an underwear manufacture business before expanding to include swimwear in response to the growing beach culture in Australia.
In 1928 MacRae introduced the now-iconic “Racerback” one-piece, which enhanced freedom of movement, allowing wearers to swim faster. This inspired staff member Captain Parsons to coin the slogan ‘Speed on in your Speedos’, which birthed the new brand name Speedo later that year. The brand grew in popularity when Swedish swimmer, Arne Borg set a world record in Speedo swimwear, and continued to dominate competitive swimming with an increasing number of athletes choosing to endorse Speedo throughout the ‘40s and ‘50s. The brand gained international fame in 1956 at the Melbourne Olympic Games, when Speedo sponsored the entire Australian swimming team who swept the board with eight gold medals.
The first company to produce swimwear in nylon and elastane (which remains the most popular swimwear fabric to this day), Speedo’s swimmers utilise Endurance technology that retains shape swim after swim while resisting chlorine and fading 20 times more than conventional swimwear brands. Celebrating its 85th anniversary in 2013, the brand has long been the global leader in swimwear and swimwear accessories, and continues to produce fashionable and functional swimwear to this day.