Micheline Bernardini Models the First-Ever Bikini - Top 10 Bikinis in Pop Culture - TIME: "The unveiling of the newly named bikini was a spectacle that almost didn't happen. It seemed designer Louis Réard had a hard time finding a woman willing to model the skimpy suit. Luckily for him — and millions of beachgoers to come — a 19-year-old French showgirl by the name of Micheline Bernardini rose to the challenge. Introducing the small suit to the world on July 5, 1946, Bernardini strutted in the newspaper-printed, G-string bikini for a fashion event at the Piscine Molitor, a popular swimming pool in Paris. Unsurprisingly, the suit was a headline-making success and Bernardini received over 50,000 fan letters."