#ThrowbackThursday: Micheline Bernardini in a Bikini, 1946

Micheline Bernardini in a bikini (Culturify)

Micheline Bernardini in a bikini (Culturify)

You may not recognize Micheline Bernardini’s name, but you know her impact: Bernardini was the first woman ever to wear a bikini.

In 1946, French engineer Louis Reard cut up some fabric and sewed four triangles to get the first bikini. He wanted to announce his new invention to the world with a press conference. There was only one problem: he couldn’t find a woman willing to wear his creation. Reard eventually hired teenage exotic dancer Micheline Bernardini to model the bikini.

The bikini gets its name from Bikini Atoll, where nuclear weapons were tested on war artillery. The first test was completed five days before Reard announced his new sartorial creation.

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