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Bikini Atoll Revolutionized the Swimsuit 70 Years Ago
The bikini is turning 70 and is still turning heads. The iconic two-piece bathing suit was the creation of French engineer Louis Reard.
The bikini is turning 70 and still turning heads.
The iconic two-piece bathing suit was the creation of a French engineer Louis Réard, who named it after the Bikini Atoll, where the atomic bomb testing took place. Sure enough, the skimpy outfit set off an explosion of moral outrage when it hit the shelves on July 5, 1946 in the French Riviera.
While the fashion-conscious French fell hard for the bikini, the Vatican declared the swimsuit sinful and it was banned in Spain, Italy and several other countries. When it arrived in the U.S. a year later, some states made it a crime to wear a bikini on the beach.But the bikini prevailed. And when Ursula Andress emerged from the surf in the 1962 James Bond movie “Dr. No” wearing a white bikini, there was no stopping the little bathing suit that could.
ABOVE: Bathing suit models listen to the radio on the beach, circa 1940's.