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Alexander MacRae


1889 - 1938

Sportswear entrepreneur. Born in Applecross in Wester Ross, MacRae left for Australia in 1910. Just four years later he formed the MacRae Hosiery Company in Sydney to produce woollen underwear. He used the brand name Fortitude, taken from the MacRae family motto, and grew wealthy producing socks for the Australian Army during the First World War. Later known as the MacRae Knitting Mills, the company grew to become Speedo, the iconic swimwear multinational. The distinctive low-cut Speedo costumes gained popularity during the relaxed years of the 1960s and were seen worn by numerous Australian swimming champions.

MacRae and his company are featured in the V&A Dundee design museum.


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