Circa 1910 Model Wearing A Unique Version Of A “Bikini?”
Honestly our headline is misleading. Our circa 1910 model is technically not wearing a bikini as her top looks more like coconut shells. While we can’t fully see the bottom of her costume, it is definitely not a bikini. It looks to be more like a Hawaiian hula outfit.
Even so, a photograph in 1910 of a woman in a two piece of any kind is unusual.
If you know your garment history, you know that the bathing suit called a “bikini” was coined in 1946 by French designer Louis Reard. The bathing attire was named after the Bikini Atoll, where the testing of the Atomic bomb was taking place at the time.
A bikini is defined as a two piece swimsuit usually in the shape of triangles. The material on the top covers the breasts much like a brassiere. The bottom is similar to panties.
When it was introduced in the late 1940s, the bikini was slow to gain acceptance. Gradually women adapted to the style, helped along by movie stars wearing them in films and magazines.
Today bikini sales account for about one fifth of all women’s swimwear sales in the United States.
In 2015 it was estimated that the global swimwear market reached over $17 billion in sales.
There are women that have made a career of having web sites and doing not much more than wearing bikinis or other revealing swimsuits. See Denise Milani for proof.