Although the bikini had its origins going back thousands of years, the modern bikini was invented by the French engineer Louis Réard in 1946.
He named it after Bikini Atoll, located in the Pacific, was chosen to be the site of an atomic bomb test, a test that took place on July 1, 1946. Réard hoped that the excitement caused by his jersey would be as explosive as the atomic bomb.
While his contemporary Jacques Heim had called his precursor bikini "Atom" because of his size, Reard claimed to have "divided the Atom" to make it even smaller. His innovation was to expose the belly button, which had not been done yet for two-piece swimsuits.
Although the bikini had a moderate success in France, it was not immediately well accepted in other parts of the world. The Miss World contest in the United Kingdom, the Hays code in the United States and many Catholic countries have banned the costume.
But, the advent of the bikini in popular circles, including the white bikini of Ursula Andress in the James Bond James Bond 007 against Dr No, the song of Brian Hyland, Itsy Bitsy Teenie Yellow Weenie Polka Dot Bikini and Sports magazine Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, made that the bikini is accepted socially.
In the early 2000s, the bikini market generated annual sales of US $ 811 million and stimulated services such as Brazilian-style hair removal and the tanning industry. Other variants have been added to the family of beachwear and bathing suits, helping to increase the popular lexicon of words in -kinis and -inis.