Therese Alshammar sporting pieces of the capsule she designed for Arena.

DIVE IN STYLE: Leading swimwear specialist Arena has partnered with Swedish former Olympic swimmer Therese Alshammar on a capsule collection of swimsuits. The range of four pieces combine high-performance features courtesy of a partnership with Italian fabrics’ company Eurojersey, a longtime partner of Arena.

The capsule is part of the brand’s fall offering, named Body Lift, made of 100 percent of Eurojersey’s innovative fabric Sensitive FIT. The fabric is equipped with body-sculpting and shaping features to enhance comfort and it employs 32 percent of the patented Lycra Xtra Life fiber for higher resistance to chlorine, sunscreen lotions and heat. Lycra marks its 60th anniversary this year.

“This collaboration proves the difference between the supplier-client relationship and a real partnership…we’re not only combining our products but also merging development and marketing strategies, as well as sharing the companies’ values,” said Andrea Crespi, chief executive officer of Eurojersey, who also serves as the president of Sistema Moda Italia’s sustainable committee. “We often forget that what really matters is the product’s value also considering that today we need to be fully sustainable, meaning we have to sell value, in the form of a well-made product meant to last forever and deliver the notion that this product is worth [its price],” he added.

Priced at between 63 euros and 68 euros, the capsule collection realized in partnership with Alshammar comprises four different swimsuits styles, in black with white detailing and prints, the latter realized with Eurojersey’s patented EcoPrint garment-dyeing technology, which reduces water and energy consumptions by 60 percent and 30 percent, respectively. Accessories, including swimming caps, bags, pool slides and towels, complete the collection. “We have always banked on the sustainability of our production processes, today we can evaluate each of our fabric’s carbon footprint and this is what we brought to Arena,” said Crespi.

Accessories from the Arena and Therese Alshammar capsule collection.

Accessories from the Arena and Therese Alshammar capsule collection.  Courtesy Photo.

“I like monochromic fashion. I like things that can stand the test of time, both in performance and in design and I really enjoyed making a collection that encourages people to be active and have a healthy lifestyle. I need to have things that I can rely on; that makes me feel good to make me go training often,” said Alshammar about the design process, noting that appearance is pivotal in making women feel more confident, as this is gaining importance as much as the speed-related performance features of a swimsuit.

Alshammar won two silvers and a bronze medal at the Olympics held in Sydney in 2000, along with several World and Swedish titles. The sportswoman is also very active in her country, raising awareness on water safety among parents and their children, through a free app called Babybojen, in which “you have eight steps that you can do at home in your bathtub when your baby is born, because when you’re born, everybody loves water and you just have to continuously [enhance this attitude] and use certain skills, such as how to hold your baby,” she explained.

The sports enthusiast Horst Dassler founded Arena in 1973 and in 2014 the firm was acquired by Switzerland-based private equity Capvis. Directly distributed in Italy, France, Germany and the U.S. and with local partners in other 112 countries worldwide, Arena is now looking to expand its market shares in Australia and the U.K., while already enjoying positive growth in Spain, Canada and Russia, according to the company’s global brand manager Margherita Camilletti. “We are committed to expand not only with swimwear but also in the sportswear category to bring the company’s expertise outside swimming pools,” she said. Although figures were not provided, Camilletti said the company sales increased 8 percent in 2017 compared to the previous year.

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