July 5, 1946 – Bikinis introduced

July 5, 1946 – Bikinis introduced

On July 5, 1946, French designer Louis Reard unveils a daring two-piece swimsuit at a swimming pool in Paris. Micheline Bernardini, a Parisian showgirl who didn’t object to appearing nearly nude in public, modeled the new fashion. Unsure of what to call his creation, Reard spontaneously dubbed it bikini, inspired by news-making U.S. nuclear tests taking place off the Bikini Atoll that week. Before long, bold young women in bikinis were causing a sensation along the Mediterranean coast. For a time in Spain and Italy, the wearing of the swimsuit on public beaches was banned.