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Moment 20: Bikinis Beckon

The two-piece swimsuit became more mainstream as designers Louis Réard, Jacques Heim and Rudi Gernreich continued to modernize them.

Appeared In
Special Issue
WWD 100 issue 11/01/2010

The bikini was no longer jaw-dropping beach attire by the time Rudi Gernreich’s tricked-out suspender version landed on the front page of WWD in the summer of 1962. Featuring black trunks and a red bra in elasticized wool knit, it was a tame predecessor to the designer’s later iteration that kept the suspenders but lost the bra. On June 3, 1964, WWD ran a photo of Gernreich muse Peggy Moffitt wearing the much-hyped topless shocker shot by her husband, William Claxton. The picture was released to a handful of news organizations. “With a beautiful trim and up bosom, it is lovely,” the paper raved, but later retracted its enthusiasm: “It was a big bust, but we didn’t see it. Nobody did.”