From controversial to “the next big thing” – the history of the bikini offers a truly fascinating glimpse into one of fashion’s most innovative moments.
Just like so many style stories, this one also began in the fashion capital of the world, where French engineer and couturier, Louis Réard embarked on the journey of replacing the traditional suits with something unapologetically chic. After noticing that women rolled up their swimsuits to get better tans on the beaches of the French riviera, Réard took to his atelier to create a more minimal and versatile take on swimwear.
Shortly after, le Bikini, named after the U.S. military’s atomic bomb tests on Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands, was introduced to the public on 5th July, 1946. This eye-catching piece featured striking triangle shapes, covered in a newspaper pattern…and as expected, its boldness made quite the waves in the fashion industry and beyond.
A Cult Favorite in the Making
While the very first launch was met with controversy, it didn’t take long for the 50’s fashion icons to fall in love with this innovative silhouette. In 1953, Brigitte Bardot wore one of our all-time favorite floral two-pieces at the Cannes Film Festival, followed by many supermodels and other Verrone muses in the coming years. It was also no surprise that the locations which inspired the bikini were the ones to truly embrace this daring design – the classic bikini became especially popular on the beaches of France.
As the years passed, two-pieces got picked up by the likes of Neiman Marcus, TIME magazine and Bond movies (how could we forget Bond girl Ursula Andress’ iconic, belted bikini?), and by the late 60’s, it became a coveted piece in beachwear wardrobes and resort collections. Almost a century later, the bikini’s legacy shares a story of celebrating trailblazers and encouraging self-expression – a message Verrone firmly believes in.
Did you know?
The history of the bikini goes all the way back to the Roman era, where women were often depicted in two-piece designs similar to the bikini we all know and love today.
Before Réard, there were multiple other designers attempting to create the perfect, modern two-piece, including Jacques Heim, who is known as the “co-creator” of the bikini. He introduced the “Atome” in 1932, which was banned from many places due to its overly feminine silhouette.
Not everyone was so welcoming of the idea – especially in the 50’s, magazines such as “Modern Girl” harshly critiqued the new silhouette.
The bikini wasn’t only welcomed by film stars and fashion icons, it stole the public’s heart as well. Although multiple beaches across Europe tried to ban Réard’s bikini, the designer received over 50,000 fan letters that celebrated the two-piece’s edgy silhouette.
The Verrone Bikinis
Looking to introduce this timeless piece into your girl’s wardrobe? Capturing the bold history of the bikini (alongside its nostalgic charm and fearless approach), our two-piece suits are sassy and playful without compromising on comfort.