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The bikini's birthday: a look back at 70 years of revolutionary swimwear

July 05, 16:32 UTC+3

71 years ago, the bikini made a sensational debut at a Paris swimming pool on July 5, 1946

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Marilyn Monroe wearing bikini, 1951
Marilyn Monroe wearing bikini, 1951
Marilyn Monroe wearing bikini, 1951
© flickr.com/John Irving
Comedian Ken Murray selecting young women for his television program at CBS studio in New York, 1952
Comedian Ken Murray selecting young women for his television program at CBS studio in New York, 1952
Comedian Ken Murray selecting young women for his television program at CBS studio in New York, 1952
© AP Photo/Robert Kradin
French actress Brigitte Bardot steps into a milk bath while filming the comedy "Nero's Big Weekend," in Rome, 1956
French actress Brigitte Bardot steps into a milk bath while filming the comedy "Nero's Big Weekend," in Rome, 1956
French actress Brigitte Bardot steps into a milk bath while filming the comedy "Nero's Big Weekend," in Rome, 1956
© AP Photo
Singer Eddie Fisher and actress Elizabeth Taylor wearing bikini as they walk on Croisette Boulevard, 1959, Cannes, France
Singer Eddie Fisher and actress Elizabeth Taylor wearing bikini as they walk on Croisette Boulevard, 1959, Cannes, France
Singer Eddie Fisher and actress Elizabeth Taylor wearing bikini as they walk on Croisette Boulevard, 1959, Cannes, France
© AP Photo
Therese Baldwin and Carol Merrill model California’s new bathing suit styles, 1964
Therese Baldwin and Carol Merrill model California’s new bathing suit styles, 1964
Therese Baldwin and Carol Merrill model California’s new bathing suit styles, 1964
© AP Photo/Ed Widdis
Six bikini-clad members of Norway's gymnastic team and one lucky male soak up the sun in the Olympic Village in Mexico City, 1968
Six bikini-clad members of Norway's gymnastic team and one lucky male soak up the sun in the Olympic Village in Mexico City, 1968
Six bikini-clad members of Norway's gymnastic team and one lucky male soak up the sun in the Olympic Village in Mexico City, 1968
© AP Photo
Crimean girls on the shore of the Black Sea, Ukrainian SSR, 1970
Crimean girls on the shore of the Black Sea, Ukrainian SSR, 1970
Crimean girls on the shore of the Black Sea, Ukrainian SSR, 1970
© Valery Gende-Rote/TASS
Models wearing bikinis walking in a subway station in Hamburg, Germany, 2009
Models wearing bikinis walking in a subway station in Hamburg, Germany, 2009
Models wearing bikinis walking in a subway station in Hamburg, Germany, 2009
© AP Photo/Fabian Bimmer
Skiers and snowboarders in bathing suits take part in a mass downhill run at the Sheregesh ski resort as part of Grelka Fest-2016
Skiers and snowboarders in bathing suits take part in a mass downhill run at the Sheregesh ski resort as part of Grelka Fest-2016
Skiers and snowboarders in bathing suits take part in a mass downhill run at the Sheregesh ski resort as part of Grelka Fest-2016
© Kiril Kukhmar/TASS
Participants at the final of Miss Moscow beauty pageant, 2016
Participants at the final of Miss Moscow beauty pageant, 2016
Participants at the final of Miss Moscow beauty pageant, 2016
© Artyom Geodakyan/TASS
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Marilyn Monroe wearing bikini, 1951
© flickr.com/John Irving
Comedian Ken Murray selecting young women for his television program at CBS studio in New York, 1952
© AP Photo/Robert Kradin
French actress Brigitte Bardot steps into a milk bath while filming the comedy "Nero's Big Weekend," in Rome, 1956
© AP Photo
Singer Eddie Fisher and actress Elizabeth Taylor wearing bikini as they walk on Croisette Boulevard, 1959, Cannes, France
© AP Photo
Therese Baldwin and Carol Merrill model California’s new bathing suit styles, 1964
© AP Photo/Ed Widdis
Six bikini-clad members of Norway's gymnastic team and one lucky male soak up the sun in the Olympic Village in Mexico City, 1968
© AP Photo
Crimean girls on the shore of the Black Sea, Ukrainian SSR, 1970
© Valery Gende-Rote/TASS
Models wearing bikinis walking in a subway station in Hamburg, Germany, 2009
© AP Photo/Fabian Bimmer
Skiers and snowboarders in bathing suits take part in a mass downhill run at the Sheregesh ski resort as part of Grelka Fest-2016
© Kiril Kukhmar/TASS
Participants at the final of Miss Moscow beauty pageant, 2016
© Artyom Geodakyan/TASS

On July 5, 1946 Micheline Bernardini weared Louis Reard's two-piece swimsuit, which he called the bikini, named days after the first above ground atomic test in the Bikini Atoll. Louis Reard could not find a fashion model willing to showcase his revealing design for a two-piece swimsuit, so he hired Bernardini, an 18-year-old nude dancer from the Casino de Paris, as his model. A look back at 70 years of revolutionary swimwear — in this gallery by TASS.

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