TRIVIA: Do you know that bikini in ancient times worn for athletic purposes? It is been observed on Greek urns and paintings dated as early as 1400 BC.
Ancient artwork from over 1700 years ago in Villa Romana del Casale have depicted women in garments resembling modern-day bikinis. Other bikini-style swimwear existed for many years before the first official bikini.
Films of holidaymakers in Germany in the 1930s show women wearing two-piece bathing suits. They were to be seen again a year later in Gold Diggers of 1933. Two-piece swimsuits started appearing in the US when the U.S. Government ordered a 10 percent reduction in the fabric used in woman’s swimwear in 1943 as part of wartime rationing. The July 9, 1945 issue of Life shows women in Paris wearing similar items.
According to the official version, the modern bikini was invented by French engineer Louis Réard and fashion designer Jacques Heim in Paris in 1946 and introduced on July 5th, at a fashion show at Piscine Molitor in Paris. It was a string bikini with a g-string back. It was named after Bikini Atoll, the site of a nuclear weapon test called Operation Crossroads on July 1 in the Marshall Islands, on the reasoning that the burst of excitement it would cause would be like the nuclear device. Monokini, a bikini variant, derives its name, as a back formation, from bikini, interpreting the first syllable as the Latin prefix bi- “two” and substituting for it mono- “one”, on the (perhaps intentionally) mistaken notion that the bi- element was the Greek prefix meaning “two”. Réard’s suit was a refinement of the work of Jacques Heim who, two months earlier, had introduced the “Atome” (named for its size) and advertised it as the world’s “smallest bathing suit”. Réard “split the ‘atom'” even smaller, but could not find a model who would dare to wear his design. He ended up hiring Micheline Bernardini, a nude dancer from the Casino de Paris as his model.