The Race For The First Bikini & The Belly Button Seen Around The World
The Space Race, the Race to Fly, and the Race for the 4-minute mile, all pale in aesthetic comparison to the race for the first bikini. Actually, the term bikini did not exist prior to the summer of 1946. It took a French designer and former engineer named Louis Réard to unlock the previously forbidden territory of the woman’s belly button.
While many people might know of Réard, fewer know of his rival Jacques Heim who also sought to introduce the woman’s bathing suit of scandalous proportions. Coming out of World War II, the pair raced amidst a global shortage of material to go down in the annals of women’s swimwear. Here’s the history of the Bikini and the uncovering of the belly button heard around the world.