Spiridon : le running en liberté, la course "wild" et inclusive

Spiridon: running in freedom, "wild" and inclusive running

Odile Mopin | Thursday, July 23, 2020

There is a little libertarian side to Spiridon. A freedom of thought, a spirit of sharing, of solidarity, born from the depths of the seventies. The young start-up Spiridon, launched by Franck Tuil with a cheerfully varied team of graphic designers, marathon runners, communicators... mixing skills, has just opened its e-store. It offers jerseys, t-shirts and joggings for eco-responsible running, made in France and in Europe (design between Paris and Annecy, manufacturing in Portugal) and drawn from the archives of the rich history of Spiridon: for beginners, the name of a modest Greek shepherd, winner of the first Olympic marathon of the modern era, inspired a mythical journal on running, founded in 1972 by runner Noël Tamini. The site, very didactic, is also a mine for racing enthusiasts, right down to the book, music and film sections offered.

He imagines, as a precursor, his magazine as a platform to celebrate all runners, champions as well as amateurs, men, women, young people, elders whom he encourages to run freely in "an atmosphere of recreation, conviviality and humanity that we did not find in traditional athletics". A real community as we understand it today, but before its time. Inclusive, it integrates women who were at the time almost ignored in the world of racing, and seniors. From 1972, moreover, the magazine committed itself to the side of Kathrine Switzer, heroine of the feminist cause in the United States and even invited her to participate clandestinely in the Morat-Fribourg race. The right of women to run the same distances as men will be one of the magazine's biggest battles. Fight won in France in 1980, when women will finally be allowed to participate in races over 5,000 meters. In France, practically nothing is done outside the Athletics Federation. Spiridon will help change the situation by organizing the first "free races". Pleasure is one of Spiridon's values: "the performance is all right, the party first", such is its motto. It's the whole Spiridon spirit that will spread throughout the world among racing enthusiasts and will give birth to derivative products, such as a flocked orange jersey of a little barefoot man designed by Karel Matejovsky with this slogan "Run with We ! ". Iconic.

It is this set of values, pleasure, sharing, inclusiveness, freedom, nature, that seduced Franck Tuil, racing enthusiast and his team. The man who comes from the world of fashion and music, notably worked at Comme des Garçons, and at major labels. He has been thinking for some time now about founding his fashion brand. In 2016, the film "Free to run", by Pierre Morath, acts as an electroshock. "If I want to do something meaningful, then I'm relaunching a Spiridon brand," he said to himself. So act. Franck Tuil obtains the operating license from the rights holders and reconnects with the original graphic designer, Karel Matejovsky, who has remained close to the community of runners. He surrounds himself with a designer, an artistic director, finances his project himself with the support of a few business angels.

The first collection, Archive, logically pays tribute to the pioneers of the Spiridon movement and to all the "spiridonians" of the 1970s and 1980s who brought a wind of freedom to running. A brand base found. The graphics and illustrations that adorn T-shirts and sweatshirts are therefore the original creations of the historical graphic designer of the magazine Spiridon. Of course, in line with the spirit of "all-terrain racing" in nature, Spiridon is 100 percent sustainable, right down to the labels and packaging, available in two lines: sportswear in organic cotton and technical range in recycled polyester, all for women, men and children. Anthologie, the collection to follow, is a continuation, with new graphics.
Spiridon reviews the clandestines

“Clothes, designed to last, that make sense and encourage better consumption, since we produce in small quantities. The collections are limited editions, to fight against overproduction and waste. It was essential in the development of my project, in addition to the spirit so particular to Spiridon”, concludes Franck Tuil.

Credit: Spiridon