Louis Réard and the birth of the Bikini

Millions of men would come to be grateful that Frenchman Louis Réard, a car mechanic, had an unlikely sideline in the 1940s: he also looked after his mother’s lingerie boutique in Paris. And from there he created the bikini, which was unveiled on this day, July 5, 1946! European women first began wearing two-piece bathing suits that consisted of a halter top and shorts in the 1930s, but only a sliver of the midriff was revealed and the navel was vigilantly covered. In the United States, the two-piece made its…

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