THE TENDERNESS OF THE CRAWLColombe Schneck
"I think of my gestures, my arm effortlessly out of the water, the outstretched hand that dives and brings the water under the body, without moving away, I catch some air, my head on the side still down halfway, with my mouth half open, so that the water does not enter, I blow the air under me, keeping a little, I lie under the water, marking this moment by beating my legs more strongly. I move forward, my arm letting go in the air, twenty freestyle lengths, unable to line up more than one, before he showed me what slowing down meant.
Euphoria seizes me as the warm water caresses my arms, my belly, my thighs, I lie down.
At 50, I became a crawl swimmer, I like water, I even like chlorinated water, I like swimming pools, their architecture from the 30s, 50s, 70s, the tiles, the locker rooms, the shower on the shoulders, in the back, on the head, but I don't like swimsuits offered to athletes.
Why, because we like to swim, we should like soft materials that
relax, do not hold the body, the garish colors, and the marks spread on the belly?
So I searched for a good jersey for several months.
Ideally, I dreamed of thick lycra that supports the breasts, refines the belly, clears the shoulders. I wanted black, navy blue, even red, a straightforward, simple color.
The form had to be sober, but with something sexy that does not flaunt it. And finally that it does not cost an arm.
And I found Chlore.
I bought a first model, the Molitor, navy blue and black, a zipper on the front, which I lower or raise depending on the mood, and the swimmers around me, then I met Hélène and Franck, the creators. They gave me a bright red model with nice cutouts in the back, the Roubaix, I can see the other swimmers looking at it.
Then, I tried on the Max in healthy green (very low-cut in the back and very high on the neck) here I can't help looking at myself in the mirror.
Hélène and Franck met as students, they were 20 years old. At night, they went out, drank, danced, During the day, they read, were passionate about Art, design, literature and went swimming. Hélène because she is the daughter of a French swimming champion, Franck because he is the son of a sailor.
Hélène, who had started fashion, was looking for a swimmer's swimsuit, as all swimmers dream of. A quality of a very high-end lycra that would not be damaged in chlorinated water, a fluid back for seduction, deep colors that embellish the look.
Franck, who studied commerce and marketing while remaining passionate about design and architecture, suggested that they start, create their brand. Her name would be Chlore.
That singular, raw smell that one dreads and then loves and that intoxicates swimmers.
Hélène looked for the most beautiful material, and found it in Italy, this lycra that holds the body and that all swimmers dream of.
The logo is designed by Eric Beckman, the artistic director of Lui magazine. He is perfect.
The first models, the Molitor, the Roubaix, barely designed by Hélène, are already classics.
The line is spotted by the most luxurious brands in the sector (the founder of Ères, the designer of Hermès swimsuits), it is immediately distributed at Bon Marché, in the United States, in Spain.
They settled next to the swimming pool, the contemporary art museum of Roubaix.
Their brand motto is "Not a day goes by without writing, creating, reading, swimming...
Chlorine is exactly that.
- Dove Schnek
Colombe Schneck is a writer, journalist and director.
She is the author of a dozen stories and novels including
The Tenderness of the Crawl (Grasset) and Summer Nights in Brooklyn (Stock)