The bikini, a revolution
The bikini was invented in the mid-40’s, by Louis Réard, at a time when people were longing for a taste of happiness, levity and frivolity after enduring six years of war. Women had garnered strength and self-reliance during wartime and had attained much more independence than ever before. They were ready to embody their new confidence while, at the same time, feel feminine and attractive again.
The Bikini would transform the way women acted and presented themselves to the world.
Réard gave women the means to expose their bodies in public with flair and confidence. In and out of the water, the Réard woman was sexy.
Knowing that his invention would create a scandalous explosion, Réard, who was first of all an engineer, named the two-piece bathing attire BIKINI after a South Pacific atoll, which had been a test site for the atomic bomb. He wanted the women who wore his minuscule designs to cause a similar reaction on beaches around the world.
On July 5th, 1946, Réard launched his provocative new invention at the Piscine Molitor, Paris, with a swimwear defilé. The BIKINI was born and with it the concept of sexiness and the revival of fun.
The Réard woman had that quintessentially French quality : she was chic.
The bikini’s triumph was not immediate, it certainly was a scandal to wear such a small triangle. It was forbidden in Italy, Spain and even in France. 10 years after its creation, it became a political tool in Spain : Franco authorized the wear of the bikini on the Spanish beaches to expand international tourism in his country.
Brigitte Bardot started its popularity thanks to the movie “Et Dieu Créa la Femme", she gave the Bikini the eternal fame it deserved starting the early 60’s.
A time when women wanted freedom and equality. The Bikini became a symbol of this new woman : strong, charismatic, self-assured, liberated and independent. Iconic women - Marilyn Monroe, Jayne Mansfield, Ursula Andress and many more - were identified with the brand ethos and became role models for thousands of others.
Réard, a visionary house
Louis Réard, an automobile engineer was also a marketer, and he certainly had a vision for the Bikini.
Thanks to paid vacation in France and the beginning of the hobbies era, he started to impose his creations in France but also accross the Atlantic where the Bikini became a must.
In the 50s, Réard became a symbol. In the 60s, Réard was a must-have. In the 70s, Réard failed to survive the absence of an heir to the founder’s legacy. The brand disappeared for 40 years, but the story and the spirit of the brand remained alive.
RÉARD unleashed the female form on the world in all its glory. He gave women the means to expose their bodies in public with flair and confidence. In and out of the water, the RÉARD woman was SEXY.
The rebirth of the Maison
If RÉARD was built in the post-war era of women’s liberation and economic recovery, the current era of self-discovery, escapism and luxury expansion is perfect for its rebirth. Today, there is a strong desire to experience luxury in the sense of Craftsmanship, Creativity and Culture, all of which RÉARD delivers abundantly with its authentic ability to design for performance, its bold approach towards innovation and its solid roots in French heritage and savoir-faire.
In our present era, women need creations that give them confidence in their appearance, sex appeal and a sense of enjoying the moment. They want a brand that offers an unbroken promise of CHIC, SEXY and FUN. The Réard woman is elegant, softly seductive, very optimistic, free-spirited and whimsical.
Luxury is nowadays more and more expressed through experience with a ubiquitous craving for leisure, pleasure, hedonistic communion with nature, most popularly with sea and sun, at anytime of year. This makes RÉARD prime for re-invention.