Thursday, April 16, 2015
The Bikini - July 5, 1946, Louis Reard unveiled a daring two-piece swimsuit at the Piscine Molitor, a popular swimming pool in Paris. Western countries banned them from beaches and the Vatican declared the Bikini as sinful. Marilyn Monroe took advantage of the controversy and decided to pose in photos wearing it. By the end of the century, the bikini had become the most popular swimwear worldwide. A survey was taken and almost 85% of all bikinis never touch the water.
***A little known fact not actually mentioned in the video is that Reard named the swimsuit after Bikini Atoll, where testing on the atomic bomb was taking place***
Air Jordans - Since it's introduction in the 80s the Air Jordan transformed from being simply an athletic basketball shoe to high end footwear. Michael Jordan popularized his signature shoe by wearing them during his NBA games, which was against the rules at the time. Nike had no problem paying the $5,000 fine he received as penalty every game. The jumpman logo is now an iconic figure in popular American culture and is recognized across all ages and social economic status. To this day, people still line up eagerly for scheduled re-releases of Michael Jordan's iconic shoes. They are considered limited edition to his fans, and often his shoes are remixed in different colors.
***Commissioner Stern had a problem with the colors of the sneakers and banned Jordan from wearing them in his games. The argument was that the distinguished red and black colors of the shoes did not match the colors of the jerseys that the rest of the Chicago Bull’s team was wearing at the time. You could imagine that $5,000 per game is not actually that much, but in the course of a regular 82 game season the amount would eventually stack up. It would reach $410,000 while MJ’s salary was $610,000 per season at the time. Which is why Nike paid with no hesitation.***
High Heels - originally were worn by wealthy men to emphasize their social status. Platform heels were also used for functionality when horseback riding, as it kept the foot locked in the stirrup. Catherine De Medici was one of the first woman to wear high heels to compensate for her short height. In the 1950s, Roger-Henri Vivier re-popularized the high heel with the invention of the stiletto. Many have a fetish for high heels which is called: Altocalciphilia.
The Leather Jacket - in the early 1900s, leather jackets were worn by aviators and members of the military. In the later half of the 20th century, the leather jacket gained popularity as it became a trend in Hollywood films to shape a character as the very essence of 'cool'. Many iconic characters in film and tv will always be remembered for sporting a trusty leather jacket.
The Little Black Dress (LBD) - The LBD first appeared in Vogue magazine by designer "Coco" Chanel in 1926. Prior to the 20s, black dresses were reserved only for periods of mourning and were considered indecent when worn outside of such circumstances. Hollywood's influence on the LBD popularized it for more practical reasons. As TV became more popular, filmmakers relied on black dresses because colored clothing looked distorted on black and white screen before Technicolor was invented.
Sunglasses - Centuries ago, the Inuit wore flattened walrus ivory "glasses" to block harmful UV rays from the sun. In early 1920s, sunglasses became widespread among movie stars to avoid recognition by fans and to hide redeye from powerful lights on sets. In 1938, LIFE Magazine claimed that sunglasses were simply a fad in America. During WWII Ray-Ban created anti-glare lenses for American fighter pilots which has become one of today's most iconic styles, the Aviator.
The Brassier - The Brassier derives from the French word "upper arm" and was first used in 1893. The Brassier was popularized by Vogue in 1907. However, garments designed to support a woman's breasts date back to ancient Greece. In 1955, a Canadian brand developed the "Wonderbra" which was the first push up bra on the market. Victoria's Secret revolutionized the bra by showcasing intricate patterns and designs at fashion shows. It is estimated that $16 Billion per year is spent on bras worldwide.
The Mini Skirt - Mary Quant created the mini skirt in 1965 and named her design after her favorite car the Mini Cooper. Quant wanted to create something practical and liberating allowing women to "run for the bus". Many European countries banned the Mini Skirt because they believed it was an invitation to rape. The Mini Skirt became a symbol of woman's freedom and expression in the late 60s. It is now a staple in woman's fashion.