Horizon Athletic Founder Marlena

We began this sequence of portraits, all featuring ‘Horizon Athletic’ costumes, during the Covid pandemic.  The pandemic had the effect of forcing people to assess their local surroundings and reap the benefits of their direct environment, one phenomenon was how many people turned to cold water swimming as a means to escape, revitalise and meditate.  Focusing on one small French community which has a very international community we created this project of personal interviews along with portraits of local women.  Each photograph was taken in the exact same location but at different times of the day, ranging from sunrise to sunset, and over a period of a few months; the landscape, quality of light, weather, reflections, water conditions and all of the environmental factors were in a state continual flux and change, creating a differing dynamic with each image regardless of the static location. 

Photographs and interviews created by Angela Huntbach-Hertault of AHH Agency. With thanks to all of the wonderful women in the portraits who share their image along with most personal feelings and insights with us.  You are our Horizon Heroes… 



22nd June 2021

I am 32 years old, and the Founder of active and swimwear brand ‘Horizon Athletic’.  I was born and raised in Sydney, Australia, surrounded by the Pacific Ocean.   I am of Lebanese descent, my parents having emigrated to Australia in the 1970’s. 

I have always had an athletic nature: I started dancing at the age of 5, I did ice skating for three years, gymnastics for two years. I stopped dancing when I came towards the end of my school years in order to focus on study. I majored in Business at the University of Technology in Sydney, Australia.  Throughout my university years I trained hard at the gym and took personal fitness very seriously.

I began doing bodybuilding competitions then I was introduced to powerlifting which was a moment of revelation for me.  Powerlifting is a strength sport, you have three movements: squat, bench, deadlift. It requires a high level of discipline to progress.  I competed in two international competitions: Belarus 2017 and Sweden 2019, both representing Australia.

I founded Horizon Athletic in 2017 while I was competing. My desire for starting a label came from a combined passion for sport, fashion and business, along with a conscious awareness of the necessity for change in the fashion industry at the time.  To have my own business and to control the whole process was a means of making sure I could really make a difference. 

Businesses have a responsibility to tackle the environmental challenges that we face so I took the initiative to make a commitment to sustainable practices: in the sourcing of fabrics and finishes, addressing product longevity and production methods, while remaining conscious on all levels of the business development. 

Australia is surrounded by three oceans, which form an iconic part of the culture, beach life is ingrained in our DNA!  I personally found the growing issue of plastic pollution in the oceans and the progressive reduction of the coral reefs due to warming ocean temperatures hard to ignore. The majority of Earth is covered in water and it is an eco-system that must be protected.

I moved to Switzerland in 2021 during the pandemic, it was time for me to expand my own horizons having lived only in one place.  My intention was also to set up Northern Hemisphere production to serve European customers and therefore reduce shipping. I chose Switzerland in order to work in close proximity to the Creative Director of the brand, and for the natural beauty and diversity of the landscapes.