Anette Kellerman was born on July 5 in Sydney, the daughter of Frederick Kellerman, a violinist, and the wife of Alice Ellen Charbonett, a French pianist and music teacher. Anette became disabled with rickets at the age of two. She had to wear heavy braces until the age of seven. To strengthen her legs, Annette started swimming at Cavill's Baths in Lavender Bay. Her legs responded and were going to become one of her greatest physical qualities. At the age of 16, Annette was the world record holder in the women's 100 meters. In mid-adolescence, the family moved to Melbourne. Kellerman did swimming and diving exhibitions in Melbourne's baths, posed as a mermaid in a nightclub, and did two shows a day swimming with fish in a glass tank at the Exhibition Aquarium.
In 1902 Annette and her father went to England. Annette holds the world record for all women's swimming. He shocked London by swimming 42 kilometers in Thames in five hours. He went to France and on September 10, 1902, ran against 17 men in the Seine, finishing third. Annette was the first woman to attempt to swim the English Channel. He tried 3 times but did not succeed, saying that "... I had the endurance but not the brute strength".
Kellerman was impressive. In an age of restrictive corsets and long heavy dresses, Annette paraded in a one-piece swimsuit made by sewing black socks on a boy's swimsuit. Her legs above the knee were visible. Because of this, Annette was arrested on a Boston beach. He was accused of public disrespect. The audience rushed to support her. The newspapers dealt with her purpose which meant death for Victorian attitudes towards women's swimwear.
After retiring from long-distance swimming, Kellerman toured theaters across Europe and the United States starring in a spectacular water show such as The Australian Mermaid and Diving Venus. Annette pioneered the water ballet, now called synchronized swimming. A Harvard academic has published a study examining 1,000 different female body dimensions. He named Annette Kellerman the closest of all living women to physical perfection. Since then, Annette has marketed herself as the perfect woman.
It was only a matter of time before Hollywood called. Kellerman's first film was The Daughter of Poseidon (1914), followed by Aphrodite of the South Seas (1914), The Daughter of the Gods (1916), and The Art of Diving (1920). Annette did her own stunts, including diving 18 meters into a pool full of crocodiles.
Annette was a strong supporter of swimming for physical health, fitness, and beauty. In 1918 he wrote a best seller entitled Physical Beauty and How to Keep It. He traveled extensively in America and Germany giving lectures on health and fitness. Annette also ran a health food store in Long Beach California for many years. He was full of energy and a lifelong vegetarian. In 1974 Annette was honored by the International Swimming Hall of Fame in Fort Lauderdale Florida USA. Annette Kellerman's amazing life ended in 1974 in Southport. He was 89 years old.
Annette Kellerman was the figure who made women's swimming popular and socially accepted. Annette considered her emancipation of women from the restrictive uniform from the neck to the knee to be one of her greatest achievements.
We give Annette Kellerman the blue hue of our collection since the blue of the sea and the ocean was the element that gave her meaning throughout her life. It reminds us to fight for what we believe in, not to be afraid in the face of adversity, and let our imagination run wild - since there is no limit to what we can reach with perseverance and hard work. Persistent, strong, special, it constantly inspires us to go one step further, no matter how many sacrifices it takes. In her words, "Many told me I could not do it, but my faith in what I knew I could do was greater.