PARIS — Less than a year after retiring from professional sports, French swimming champion Laure Manaudou has launched a line of swimwear, called LM Design, in partnership with Topsec Equipement, a French sporting goods distributor.
At a press conference here Tuesday, Manaudou said, “It was important for me to not just be the face of a brand, but to take pleasure in what I do. I always wanted to design my own swimwear, and this gives me the opportunity to stay in the domain of sports.”
The 23-piece collection, which will be officially presented to retailers at Mode City, the lingerie and swimwear trade show that runs July 6 and 7, consists of two lines, Dynamic and Sensation, each of which will retail between 38 euros and 110 euros, or $49.75 and $144, respectively, at current exchange.
While the Dynamic group is made from Xtra Life Lycra for more resistance to chlorine and meant to attract more athletic consumers, Sensation is a slightly sexier line that is designed for the beach. Both lines are equipped with Topsec’s Swind technology, a system activating the body’s microcirculation, which claims to make the wearer burn calories faster.
Asked if the microcirculation active system has helped her get rid of some pounds, the swimmer replied, “Yes, and I will continue to wear slimming swimwear.”
However, she underlined that she had no intentions to compete with large brands for high-performance swimwear. “I just really insisted on the fabrics not to be transparent. They are comfortable and soft, but stay in place. Also, the colors are all me,” added Manaudou, who was helped by a stylist during the designing process. The color palette includes lavender, fuchsia, light gray and white.
The creative partnership between the swimmer and Topsec Equipement will run for four years.
Founded in 1999, Topsec Equipement sells aquatic sports articles mainly through vending machines set up in indoor swimming pools and sports centers.
In 2012, the brand had 1,500 machines in France, which accounted for 2 million purchases a year. The company’s sales increased fivefold in the last five years, jumping from 2 million euros [$2.6 million] in 2007 to 10 million euros [$13.1 million] in 2012.