It’s Summer! It’s Hot!
by: Michelle Wamego
With the weekend upon us, maybe, we get the opportunity to cool off next to the pool. So as I don my bathing suit I wonder where did the bikini initiate? With a little digging this is what I found…
The modern bikini was “introduced” in 1946; two men, two versions. One French designer by the name of Jacques Heim debuted his version of a two piece “world’s smallest swimsuit” in a local beach shop in Cannes. He called it the “Atome” in honor of the recently discovered atom, the smallest particle of matter yet detected at that time. But just 3 weeks later another Frenchman (a mechanical engineer turned swimsuit designer), Louis Reard, introduced his similar swimsuit to be sold along the French Riviera. Reard named his the “bikini”, after the location in the Marshall Islands called Bikini Atoll where testing of the new atomic bomb was being done. Reard thought his creation might receive an “explosive” reaction… I think he got that right!
The next summer the bikini was introduced to US markets, but consumers were shocked by its scandalous scantiness and its initial sales were slow. Some US cities even outlawed it as a public form of attire. It would be nearly 20 years, with the dawn of the sexual and moral revolution of the late 60’s, before American women would embrace the bikini. But after that… there was no putting the genie back in the bottle! American women- and men- began a love affair with the bikini that has lasted to this day!
So rock those tiny triangles of fabric with confidence, and stylish attitude poolside, beach head, or ocean front.