Micheline Bernardini

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Micheline Bernardini
modeling the first bikini (1946)
Born (1927-12-01) 1 December 1927 (age 87)
Colmar, France
Nationality French
Occupation Model

Micheline Bernardini (born 1927) was a French nude dancer at the Casino de Paris before agreeing to model on July 5, 1946 Louis Réard's two-piece swimsuit, which he called the bikini.

Réard's bikini[edit]

Designer Louis Réard could not find a fashion model willing to showcase his design for a two-piece swimsuit, so he hired Bernardini, a 19-year-old nude dancer from the Casino de Paris, as his model.[1][2] He introduced his design, a two-piece swimsuit with a g-string back made out of 30 square inches (194 cm2) of cloth with newspaper type pattern, which he called a bikini, at a press conference at the Piscine Molitor, a popular public pool in Paris.

Photographs of Bernardini and articles about the event were widely carried by the press. The International Herald Tribune alone ran nine stories on the event.[3] The bikini was a hit, especially among men, and Bernardini received over 50,000 fan letters.[4]

Later life[edit]

Bernardini later moved to Australia where she worked at the Tivoli Theatre.[5] Bernardini later married an American soldier and moved to the United States, where she worked as an actress until 1970.[citation needed]



  1. ^ Rosebush, Judson. "Michele Bernadini: The First Bikini". Bikini Science. Retrieved September 17, 2008. 
  2. ^ Mitchell, Emily. "The Bikini Turns 50" Time (July 1, 1996)
  3. ^ Mitchell, Claudia A.; Reid-Walsh, Jacqueline (2008). Girl Culture an Encyclopedia. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press. p. 82. ISBN 0-313-08444-0. 
  4. ^ "Bikini Introduced". A&E Television Networks. Retrieved September 17, 2008. 
  5. ^ McLeod, Alan Lindsey. R. G. Howarth, Australian man of letters, Sterling Publishers Pvt. Ltd, 2005, ISBN 1-932705-53-8. p.81