04
Aug
09

Summer Speedos in the News!

Peter Travis - creator of the `Speedo`suit

Peter Travis - creator of the `Speedo`suit

Spotted a few `Speedos`on the beach this summer and couldn`t resist sharing the survey below along with some Speedo history …
Leave the Speedo at home, please

 ReutersAugust 4, 2009

 Advice for those heading to a beach or a pool this summer–don’t hog beach chairs, and men, leave the skimpy speedos at home.

A survey by travel website TripAdvisor found that 84 per cent of travellers said people should not be allowed to “save” beachside or poolside chairs by getting up early and leaving a towel or other personal items on the chair for hours.

Cigarettes also irked people, with 82 per cent of 3,800 U. S. respondents wanted smoking banned around the pool while 62 per cent wanted a smoke-free beach.

Men in tight-fitting Speedo swimsuits were also unpopular, with 35 per cent of travellers thinking this violated etiquette, although only 24 per cent were against women wearing revealing bikinis.

But urinating in the water was voted the most annoying violation of beach or pool etiquette, with 16 per cent calling it the worst breach.

Americans were named as the worst beach and pool etiquette offenders, listed as such by 22 per cent of respondents, while Germans came in second with seven per cent of the vote.

© Copyright (c) Reuters

 

And now for the rest of the story … !

Speedos Fit the Cut of our Jib 

January 26, 2008   Sydney Morning Herald

The prudes objected to a revolutionary swimsuit but it became one of our icons, reports Jacob Saulwick.

Fashions float with the times but there is always a market for the classics. The man behind Speedos, the nation’s best-loved stretch of nylon, will today become a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for his work as a designer, sculptor, ceramicist, kite-maker and teacher.

A Manly boy, Peter Travis was working for Speedo Holdings in 1960 when his boss asked him to re-create the overseas fashion of shorts in Hawaiian motif. “My reply was: ‘The whole world will have that. I will start with a costume you will swim in,”‘ Travis, 80, says.

He had trained as a music teacher, but reverted to his childhood passion for craft when he fell under the influence of the designer, artist and educator Phyllis Shillito. He worked as a fashion house buyer before starting his children’s clothing label and later working in industrial design.

“I am passionate about design and colour. I do it all with total commitment.”

Travis joined Speedo in 1959. In designing the famous costume, the crucial thing was to position the briefs on the hips, not the waist.

“The hips are stable. It isn’t like tying something around the stomach.”

He also cut the fabric on the side of the hips to a couple of inches deep. For functional swimwear, that will never change: “If you lift your leg up at right angles, that is the shape of the way it is cut.”

The costume was an immediate hit, but drew the ire of the prudish. Bondi’s beach inspector arrested the first man to wear the briefs on the beach, but Travis recalls that the magistrate did not pursue charges, because there was no pubic hair showing.

Travis left Speedo in 1961 to teach and to challenge himself as an artist.

“They wanted me to be a normal businessman. They wanted me to play golf with them,” he says. He moved into pottery and ceramics, and then, fascinated by the play of light on coloured cloth, started making kites that became the inspiration for Bondi’s Festival of the Winds.

He has since taught thousands at colleges and universities, and exhibited internationally in major galleries and museums. Always community minded, he has conducted more than 80 family kite-making workshops.

He was the sole colour designer for Canberra’s new Parliament House and selected the wood and marble for main areas.

Awards in the Order of Australia are announced twice annually, on Australia Day and the Queen’s Birthday Public Holiday. Recipients are nominated by their community and assessed by a 19-member council and the Governor General. Awards are in four categories, Medal of the Order (OAM), Member of the Order (AM), Officer of the Order (AO) and Companion of the Order (AC). Only 450 citizens become Members of the Order of Australia (AM) each year. Fewer than 6500 medals have been awarded.

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