Photo: Bikini Open via Flickr
From ridicule to ubiquity, the bikini has come a long way over the past 65 years.It was on this date in 1946 that French fashion designer Louis Réard hired a nude dancer to sport his two-piece creation after the runway models he approached refused to wear it.
But despite provoking controversy — centering around everything from morality to skin cancer to liposuction — it is clear that the teenie weenie suit is here to stay.
The first modern bikini made its debut on July 5, 1946, at the Piscine Molitor in Paris. Designer Louis Réard couldn't find a model to wear his suit, so he ended up hiring nude dancer Micheline Bernardini to sport his design.
Brigitte Bardot made headlines at the Cannes Film Festival in 1953, when she was famously photographed wearing a (gasp!) bikini. The scandalous move jump-started her career and popularised the bikini in Europe.
Marilyn Monroe also used the bikini to catapult herself to stardom. She was no stranger to posing without clothes -- nude photos of the starlet by photographer Tom Kelley surfaced in 1952.
This topless bikini by designer Rudi Gemreich got one 19-year-old model arrested in 1964 when she wore it to a Chicago beach. The topless bikini trend would later gain traction in Europe.
A young Christie Brinkley appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated sporting a tanga suit in 1975.
The Fédération Internationale de Volleyball made the bikini the official uniform of women's Olympic beach volleyball in 1994.
Sports Illustrated celebrated 40 years of Swimsuit Editions in 2005. Supermodel Veronika Varekova posed for the cover.
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