FINA, competitive swimming’s governing body, approved Tuesday the bylaw banning the use of buoyant, long-length swimsuits starting next year.
Instead of donning high-tech swimwear that covers their legs and backs, women will have to wear “kneeskins,” knee-length suits with open backs. As of 2010, their male counterparts will have to wear “jammers,” swimwear that extends from below the navel to above the knee.
Executives at Speedo, whose LZR Racer suit has been worn for 85 world record-breaking performances since it was introduced in February 2008, opposed FINA’s decision to ban bodysuits and claimed doing away with buoyant, nonpermeable fabrics would have sufficed.
Speedo’s senior vice president of marketing Craig Brommers said, “We’re rolling back the shape of suits to essentially what they were in 1976.”
But the swimwear maker will be working with leading athletes, coaches and experts to develop the most innovative swimwear it can, he said.
In addition to Speedo, TYR Sport, Jaked, Arena, Adidas and Blueseventy produce performance-oriented bodysuits for competition. Speedo’s version retails for $550 — well above the more traditional $150 swimsuits competitors wore before the LZR Racer was introduced. British swimmer Gemma Spofforth broke the world record for the 100-meter backstroke wearing a LZR Racer Tuesday at the world championships in Rome. But another LZR Racer-wearer, Michael Phelps, was less fortunate, losing his first major individual event in four years — and his world record for the 200-meter freestyle — to Germany’s Paul Biedermann, who sported an Arena X-Glide. Italy’s Federica Pellegrini has broken two world records in Rome and in the process became the first woman to break four minutes swimming the 400-meter freestyle wearing a Jaked bodysuit. All the world records broken by swimmers wearing the high-tech bodysuits will stand, regardless of next year’s ban.
For reasons still unknown to TYR executives, the company’s full-length PU suit, model B8, was not allowed in Rome while similar technologies were approved by FINA, according to cofounder Steve Furniss, a bronze medalist in the 1976 Summer Olympics. Earlier this month, TYR filed a complaint with the Tribunal de Grande Instance de Strasbourg, France, and has asked the court to nominate an independent legal expert to determine why some suits have been approved by FINA while nearly identical suits from TYR were not. “I feel for the athletes and the tough decisions they are facing in Rome,” said Furniss.
By the end of September, FINA will inform swimwear manufacturers of its definition of “textile” that must be used for competitive swimwear. That definition is being made by a group of scientific experts chosen by FINA and led by Prof. Jan-Anders Manson from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, Switzerland.
From overseeing America’s fastest-growing speciality retailers to codifying cool, WWD talked to the women who are leading the way for the future of beauty. Check out our Instagram Stories to see how these women built today and are creating tomorrow. (📸: @hannah_khymych) #wwdbeauty
For @laperlalingerie's spring 2018 show, the brand chose to host their event at @thevenetianmacao. With Chinese megastars @bingbing_fan and @hubing in attendance, La Perla debuted a rock ‘n’ roll-inspired collection. The show marked the start of Sands Macao Fashion Week, which runs from October 19 to 24 — the city’s first such event. Pictured here are models backstage with glimmering eyes. #wwdfashion (📷: Cheuk-Yin To)
Trending for spring 2018: top stitch design. Gone are the days of stitch just for seams — designers are using the once-minimal detail to create strong decorative elements. (📷: Paola Testa; Styled by @andrew_shang) #wwdfashion
@tradesy is turning the concept of a showroom upside down with its new space in Santa Monica. Here, the company plans to hold events, art exhibits and a showcase rare fashion pieces like this Louis Vuitton boxing set. Get all the details on Tradesy’s first showroom on WWD.com. #wwdnews
Spotted last night at the @erdem x @hm launch event: Kate Bosworth, Rashida Jones, Kirsten Dunst and Selma Blair. The party, which took place in LA, also marked the opening of their pop-up shop. “I was interested in creating a collection that wasn’t in any way disposable. It was about pieces you’d create and keep forever, things that have a permanence to it,” designer Erdem Moralioglu said. #wwdeye (📷: Katie Jones)
Renee Zellweger in yellow in 2001 and again in 2017. Chosen as one of the 12 @pantone Leading Spring Colors (and dubbed “Meadowlark”), it only makes sense that the bright hue stands the test of time and is making a resurgence this season, seen already on stars like @blakelively and @gigihadid. (📷: Donato Sardello & @rexfeatures) #wwdfashion #tbt
Dior’s 70th anniversary celebration continues with a new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. “Christian Dior,” which is scheduled to run through March 18, takes a look at the founders tenure from 1947 to 1057 and feature 40 designs. Pictured here is an evening gown from the Ailée, fall 1948-49 haute couture collection. #wwdfashion (📷: Brian Boyle)