The History of the Bikini

On July 5, 1946, a French engineer, Louis Reard, designed a garment
Popperfoto / Getty

Explosive Beginnings
On July 5, 1946, French engineer Louis Réard designed a garment "smaller than the world's smallest bathing suit." Four days earlier, the U.S. military had conducted nuclear tests at Bikini Atoll. Réard hoped that his invention would be as explosive as that test and so called his new creation the bikini. But at first none of the Parisian models would dare to wear his design.

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