You can use your keyboard to see the next slide ( ← previous, → next)
Designer Louis Reard, a Parisian automobile engineer turned fashion designer, introduced the inaugural bikini on July 5, 1946. The suit was merely a bra top with two inverted triangles connected by a string, fashioned from a mere 30 inches of fabric (which was quite risqué for the time). Early advertisements even claimed that the test of a genuine bikini was that it could be pulled through a wedding ring!
No model would dare to wear such a skimpy suit, until 19-year-old French showgirl Micheline Bernardini rose to the challenge. Shot at a popular swimming pool in Paris, the photo was a headline-making success and the model received more than 50,000 fan letters.
RELATED: The Top Bikini Models of All Time
We've rounded up the most iconic bikinis in pop culture history—and the gorgeous women who wore them
demi moore in charlie's angels: full throttle