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This Month in History: The Bikini Debuts in France (Pics!)

15. July 2010 by Christy 0 Comments

Though two-piece, bikini-like garments have existed for centuries, the modern-day version of the bikini did not actually debut until 1946. July marks the 63rd anniversary of this titillating swimwear.


Louis Réard, engineer and manager of a lingerie boutique in Paris, is credited with inventing the modern bikini. He hired an exotic dancer to wear his bikini design at a public pool (no other woman would agree to wear it) and the garment debuted on July 5, 1946. Men, in particular, loved the bikini and business at Réard’s boutique soared. Réard named the bikini after Bikini Island, the site of nuclear testing, because he believed the controversy and excitement ignited by his new swimwear would be as explosive as the island’s nuclear device. 

Despite the bikini’s initial success in France, it took several years for the swimwear to gain worldwide acceptance. The 1960s saw a rapid rise in the popularity of bikinis, thanks in part to their appearance in various movies, television shows, and magazines. Playboy first featured a bikini on its cover in 1962 and the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue, with bikinis, debuted in 1964.


Today, women proudly don bikinis at pools, beaches, and beauty pageants, and this includes the lovely ladies of RussianLoveMatch. Here are a few photos of hot Ukrainian women in bikinis. Enjoy!