Ryan Lochte said it makes him feel “superhuman,” while Michael Phelps said it gives him an “extra boost of confidence” as he steps up to the starting blocks to start a race.
So what’s got America’s top Olympic swimmers so stoked? Speedo’s new Fastskin3 Racing System.
On Wednesday, the manufacturer unveiled the system, which consists a cap and goggle in addition to a suit for the first time. Although each piece is designed separately, they work together to allow swimmers a “cohesive, hydrodynamic solution to cut through the water with maximum efficiency.” Among its boasting points is that the Fastskin3 system offers a 16.1 percent reduction in passive drag, an 11 percent improvement in oxygen economy and a 5.2 percent reduction in full body active drag.
For the layman, that means that swimmers wearing the suit at the upcoming Olympic Games in London next summer may just get the edge they need to reach the wall first. Bob Bowman, Phelps’ coach, expects the extra peripheral vision available in the goggles to help the world’s most decorated swimmer keep his head in a neutral position when he “sneaks a peek” at his competitors on his turns.
Perhaps most important is that the Fastskin3 system has been approved by FINA, the international governing body of swimming. Speedo’s last iteration of a racing suit, the LZR Racer, resulted in so many new records being set that it was considered “technological doping” and was later banned by the organization. In the Beijing Olympics in 2008, 94 percent of all swimming races were won in the suit.
Jim Gerson, president of Speedo, said Wednesday that FINA has given the Fastskin3 the green light with the men wearing suits that sit on their waists and women wearing either an open or closed-back version.
The suits, a version of which will also be sold to the general public, will be available for presale beginning today and shipped in January. Prices range from a cap at $40 to the female super elite suit at $560.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast