Monokini in the 60s

Ok, so here’s a bit of trivia on monokinis. In 1964, the first monokini was designed here in the US by an Austrian-American fashion designer, Rudi Gernerich. It first appeared in Look magazine as part of an article about futuristic fashions. It’s funny how a monokini was once considered futuristic! Swimwear has definitely evolved over the years. Take a look at our 'History of Swimwear Blog.' 

We already told you about how Zoe Duchesne wore the fabulous Bendito Napoleon topless in the latest Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, and turns out that, well, this thought had crossed the mind of the original monokini creator. It seems that this designer was way ahead of its time; very avant-garde.  Gernerich’s monokini was designed to be topless. It looked like a one-piece from mid waist down suspended from two halter straps running down the cleavage of, you guessed it, bare breasts. This was a very daring proposal for that time, even today it would still be frowned upon.

As you might imagine, this was very risqué for the time. Although the 60s were at the height of the Sexual Revolution, people were still largely conservative and so was fashion. The New York City Police Department had strict instructions to arrest any woman found wearing a monokini in the city’s parks, and a 19 year old woman was charged $100 for wearing one on a public beach in Chicago. Despite its many critics, the monokini sold in record numbers but very few people wore them in public. One thing is for sure, people have always loved a bit of controversy.


Since the monokini comes in a variety of styles now, you don’t have to wear them topless if you don’t want to! Of course, you can always wear any piece however you want to. One of our favorites is Bendito Trama Monokini by Agua Bendita, which has the designer’s notorious printed fabrics with ethnic patterns . The straps go over the shoulder and tie at the back, the openings at the torso create the perfect amount of sexiness. Although this Agua Bendita monokini is more on the sexier side, there are options for those who love the idea of a monokini but still need a little more coverage. To take a look at our wide selection please visit our monokinis page.

Ana Lopez

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