|Died||16 September 1984|
|Occupation||automobile engineer, fashion designer|
|Known for||inventing bikini|
Invention of bikini 
Although Réard was an engineer, he was running his mother's shoe shop Les Folies Bergères in Paris by 1946. Réard and Jacques Heim, his rival designer, were competing to produce the world's smallest swimsuit. Heim developed his swimsuit and called it the "atom" and advertised it as "the world's smallest bathing suit."
In 1946 Réard introduced the bikini. His swimsuit was basically a bra top and two inverted triangles of cloth connected by string and it was significantly smaller. Made out of a scant 30 square inches of fabric, he promoted his creation as "smaller than the world's smallest bathing suit." He called his creation the bikini, named after the Bikini Atoll. The idea struck him when he saw women rolling up their beachwear to get a better tan.
Marketing of the bikini 
Réard 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. That bikini, a string bikini with a g-string back made out of 30 square inches (194 cm2) of cloth with newspaper type printed across, was "officially" introduced on 5 July 1946 at a fashion event at Piscine Molitor, a popular public pool in Paris. The bikini was a hit, especially among men, and Bernardini received some 50,000 fan letters. Heim's design was the first worn on the beach, but the genre of clothing was given its name by Réard. Réard's business soared, and in advertisements he kept the bikini mystique alive by declaring that a two-piece suit wasn't a genuine bikini "unless it could be pulled through a wedding ring."
Later life 
- "Encyclopædia Britannica's Great Inventions". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 17 September 2008.
- Sage, Adam (16 April 2006). "Happy birthday: the 'shocking and immoral' bikini hits 60". The Times (UK). Retrieved 17 September 2008.
- "The Bikini: One Of Man's Greatest Inventions". CBS News. 2 July 2006. Retrieved 17 September 2008.
- "Bikini Introduced". A&E Television Networks. Retrieved 17 September 2008.
- Cocozza, Paula (10 June 2006). "A little piece of history". The Guardian (UK). Retrieved 17 September 2008.
- Westcott, Kathryn (5 June 2006). "The Bikini: Not a brief affair". BBC News. Retrieved 17 September 2008.
- Rosebush, Judson. "Michele Bernadini: The First Bikini". Bikini Science. Retrieved 17 September 2008.
- "Louis Reard, Engineer, Dies; Designed the Bikini in 1946". The New York Times. 18 September 1984. Retrieved 17 September 2008.