The fashion world, fashion designers, models, and actors altogether took their love of bikinis and lingerie beyond thoughts and brought them to the fashion industry. The initiative was taken in the summer of 1946, since then the two-piece has been causing explosions and making a statement of its own in the fashion world. Ever since its emergence the various types of bikinis has stayed a fashion sensation along with becoming a design icon. It will be interesting to read how the name of a remote Pacific atoll, site of atom bomb testing in the late 1940s, could have become one of the most beloved garments of the summer. This enduring garment of summer is an invention of fashion design that so turned the world that it was named for a nuclear event, it even became an essential part of a cultural moment when it was first introduced, the credit entirely goes to intelligent marketing decisions made by people. Read on further to know where it all started, the beginning of bikini, to types and market size today in the fashion world.
In the summer of 1946, on the 5th of July, French fashion designer Louis Reard brought a revolution in the fashion world as he unveiled an extremely bold two-piece swimsuit in Paris. The bold bikini made its official entry into the fashion world, it’s stated that because of the boldness it carried most models refused to wear it. But as they say the young always holds the courage to experiment, then appeared a 19-year-old nude dancer Micheline Bernardini, she showcased Louis Reard’s G-string, minimally designed bikini.
1946 turned out to be an amazing year for the world as World War 2 was over and for the fashion world it was a blast as the first Cannes Film Festival took place, and the modern bikini stepped up into the fashion industry. Of course, it wasn’t for the first time that something as sensual as bikini entered the world, figures of little garments for women dates back to around 1400BC, to testify there are illustrations found on Grecian urns and paintings from that time.
Later in 1900 for the Olympic aquatic competitions in Paris, where women competed for the global athletic competition for the first time, fashion designers created garments, swimwear that would help participant women to glide easily through the water. But the path for wearing swimwear was not that easy earlier, Annette Kellerman, an Australian swimmer was arrested for adorning a tight-fitting swimsuit which showed off her bare arms and legs.
By 1940, as doctors and scientists revealed how exposing the skin to sunlight was essential for the prevention of rickets, and how humans could create vitamin D from sunlight in a human form of photosynthesis, swimsuits importance, and concept of sunbathing increased. But the actual bikini revolution only came, post the Second World War, when two different fashion designers Jacques Heim and Louis Réard attempted to create boundary-breaking swimwear. Both designers were aware that these designs would reflect an explosive impact, so kept there names as atome and le bikini respectively. The latter showcased his design first, just several days after the US first exploded a nuclear device over Bikini Atoll.
Today it may feel like summers, sunshine and bright days are all about bikini, after all, adorning bikini in summers and sunbathing help us attain a solid amount of vitamin D which further boosts our mental health, happiness, and mood. In 2020 there is a wide variety of bikini options available from hammock-style bottoms adjustable with string ties to “barely there” swimsuit design, you are free to wear any shape of bikini you like without much of a reaction. But it wasn’t always this way, it became the talk of the fashion world when fashion designer Louis Réard for the first time after WWII, in July 1946 released the images of the skimpy style. The designer Réard was an automobile engineer earlier but this man carried the guts to reframe the fashion industry by sending shockwaves. It’s stated that the swimsuit was created of cloth with a newspaper design, and featured a G-string back. It was for the first time that a woman’s belly button was publicly exposed in the modern world. By the 1950s the world started adopting the bikini trend, and actresses were spotted adorning them for shoots.
In India recently the percentage of two-piece sales has increased, as women of the country started owning their bodies. Around 80’s the bikini business was poor, ladies would buy a single-piece, with no v-cut in the front and just a little back cut. But later in the 1990s, women started demanding bikinis as women’s bathing suits but with a tank top and small boy shorts and coming to today there are consumers who pick up bold bikinis.
Bollywood played an essential role in popularising bikinis, Bollywood actress Sharmila Tagore in 1967 appeared in a bikini for a movie scene. The film “An Evening in Paris” is celebrated for the first bikini appearance of a Bollywood actress. Sharmila was applauded for her guts, she even posed in a bikini for the Filmfare magazine. There were mixed responses from the audience as the bikini shocked the conservative part of the Indian audience, but she somehow managed to set a trend of bikinis. The bikini culture in Bollywood was later taken forward by actresses like Parveen Babi, Zeenat Aman, Dimple Kapadia, and others. The emergence of bikini was no less than a revolution in women’s bathing suits & girl’s swimwear, and by 2005 it became common for actors to change outfits a dozen times in a single song to grab audiences’ attention, actresses were spotted starting with a saree and ending up adorning a bikini.
The global Swimwear industry in 2018 consisted of 68% of bikini sales followed by swimsuits and swim shorts. As bikinis and swimwear along with resort wear are becoming more and more acceptable and famous the market evaluation of swimwear sales was expected to reach more than USD 20 Billion globally by 2021 pre -COVID 19, however as the global pandemic has adversely affected travel and tourism and posed restrictions on public gathering such as pools and pool parties, it is estimated that the global sales will be hit and decreased by around 45%- 50% this 2020 ultimately affecting the estimated sales figure of 2021 and the following years. South Asia Pacific including India and China were forecasted to see a major boom in the swimwear apparel sales both through online and offline mediums pre- COVID 19.
Acceptance of the rapid changes in fashion trends and an increase in the income of consumers has led to the purchase of different kinds of swimwear products. Consumers today believe in shopping for the swim-wears based on their comfort, activities, and fashion appeal, they believe in staying updated with the fashion industry. In recent years luxury swimwear and bikinis offering value-added features such as glamorous cuts and trendy prints along with enhanced slim effect have gained much popularity among the women’s bathing suits of India. The reason behind increasing sales of resort-wear and swimwear is the growing traffic of beach tourism in India which includes scenic sites such as Goa, Kerala, Maharastra, Orissa, Tamil Nadu, and others. As the millennials have started spending on trips, they even plan trips to places such as Seychelles, Bali, Maldives, Australia, Fiji, etc for their holidays along with their swimming gears.
Pre- COVID 19, India’s luxury travel market was growing at a CAGR of 12.8%, higher than any other BRIC nation, thus according to the Global Market for Swimwear and Beachwear Report, it was expected that the swimwear and beachwear industry would reach up to USD 24.3 Billion till 2024, thereby giving a lot of scope for expansion and experimentation in bikinis, resort wear and beach wear in India.
The resort wear market in the country is growing rapidly at a great pace with increasing health concerns and numerous people involving not just in swimming but also in other water-related activities, shoots, and travels. The market is expected to grow in the future with an increase in demand for various styles and colors across all age groups. The brands and resort wear designers state that the highest sales and growth are of women and kids of different types of bikini and swim wear. It is speculated that in India the swimwear market size is currently around INR 1500-2000 crore.
I Knock Fashion has gathered the 5 most popular and beloved types of bikinis for women. Adorning a bikini is all about letting your hair down and feeling confident in your skin.
In the past few years, beachwear in India has managed to top every summer packing list. Following are the best Indian fashion designers you can look forward to for resort wear, swimwear and beachwear in India-
Aakriti Grover- The fashion designer Aakriti Grover from Instituto Marangoni, initiated her label Flirtatious in 2013. The collection she showcases is urban-chic and in much less time, it has managed to make a place in everyone’s good books. The designer showcases pieces that carry vibrant neon styles that are relevant to contemporary trends and are an apt choice for the beach vibe. The collection is full of luxurious fabrics and edgy silhouettes, they are also suitable and affordable for the urban millennial.
Shivan and Narresh– The duo, Naresh Kukreja, and Shivan Bhatia ace the ranking of lavish beachwear fashion designers in India. They are celebrated across the fashion world for a wide range of trikinis, bikini sets, swimsuits, sarongs, and resort wear beautifully amalgamated with comfort and confidence.
Masaba Gupta– The fashion designer Masaba Gupta is the first choice of Bollywood celebrities when it comes to celebrating an elegant look on the beach. Masaba offers a wide range of glamorous resort wear collection apt for weekend getaways and holidays. The designer is celebrated in the Indian fashion industry for her neon choices so her brand offers an enormous range of colors and prints.
There’s no denial in the fact that emergence of different types of bikinis has made summers a season of aesthetics, with the polka dot prints, summer breezy styles, some major latest fashion neon trends along with several animal prints. Bollywood has played a major role in making beachwear in India popular, and Indian fashion designers have stayed on put to bring out latest trends in resort wear and bikini fashion. The fashion blog can be concluded by saying that we have witnessed how the bikini has changed during these years, but it leaves us with the question, what will be the next thing we spot on the beach?
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