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Esther Williams Swimwear- Who Was The Woman Behind The Brand?

Posted on October 19 2016

When you buy Esther Williams swimwear, you know you’re getting a great quality and super flattering retro style swimsuit. As many of you will know, since 2009, For Luna has been the UKs largest stockist of Esther Williams swimwear with an unrivalled range of styles and prints. But who exactly is Esther Williams, the woman that has given her name to this range? And what’s her connection to the world of glamorous 1950s inspired swimwear? For those of you that aren’t familiar with her, here’s a quick guide to the life of our fabulous heroine!

-          Born in 1921, Esther Jane Williams started her career as a competitive swimmer in Los Angeles California when she was just a teenager. Having set a national record for the 100-meter freestyle, she was in chosen for the 1940 US Olympic squad. She was headed for the Tokyo Olympic Games before World War II broke out and put a stop to the event and an end to Esther Williams’ dreams of fame and fortune as an Olympian swimmer. 

-          Luckily, Esther Williams talents weren’t confined to the swimming pool. She was to go on and prove herself as one of the mid-century's queens of the silver screen when MGM talent scouts discovered her acting abilities. After just a couple of supporting roles in films, she shot to stardom with her third picture, the 1944 smash hit, Bathing Beauty. The movie showcased her swimming skills and introduced the world to a new type of movie – the Aqua Musical.

-          The movie proved a huge success. In fact, it was so successful that MGM hired writers to exclusively create scripts that would showcase Esther Williams and highlight her synchronized swimming talents. These movies included Fiesta and Take Me Out To The Ball Game, which co-starred Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra.  In these movies she invariably appeared in a glamorous swimsuit, much like the beautiful 1950s style swimsuits sold here at For Luna Swimwear!

 -          In 1952 Esther Williams landed her most famous and memorable role when she was asked star in the MGM biographical musical about the life of Australian swimmer Annette Kellerman, Million Dollar Mermaid (released as The One Piece Bathing Suit here in the UK). Kellermann was famed  for being not only the first women to wear a one piece swimsuit, when aged just 19 she was also one of the first women to attempt to swim the English Channel! Throughout the movie Williams wears a procession of fabulous swimsuits. If you are in the need of swimspiration – this is the movie for you!

-          In 1999 she released her autobiography Million Dollar Mermaid, detailing her fascinating life as a professional swimmer and movie star. Sadly, her personal life was  often turbulent and fraught with difficulties despite her career success. Throughout her life she was married four times and had three children. At the age of 91, Esther passed away in her sleep on June 6, 2013 in Beverly Hills, California. Her style and spirit live on and we’re delighted to stock the beautiful range of vintage style swimsuits to which she gave her name.

We hope you've enjoyed reading all about the fabulous Esther Williams,

Love Luna x

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