Noticing women rolling up the edges of their swimsuits to get a better tan on the beaches of Saint-Tropez, French automobile engineer and clothing designer Louis Réard subsequently introduced the modern two-piece bikini. Famously modelled by Micheline Bernardini at Piscine Molitor in Paris, 1946, initially it failed to gain universal acceptance. Photographed wearing a bikini during the 1953 Cannes Film Festival, Brigitte Bardot bolstered its desirability, and did so again whilst filming, And God Created Woman, 1956 – her breakthrough picture set in Saint-Tropez. By the early ‘70s, the town was still a hippie de lux resort, colonised by artists, French New Wave thespians, and masterminds of the yé-yé movement.
Travelling the world as a journalist, Saint-Tropez was not an unlikely stop for yet another motoring bon vivant by the name of Fred Prysquel. Arriving in the late ‘60s, somewhere on the road from Nîmes and Saint-Tropez he fell in love. According to current CEO Roland Herlory: “The guy didn’t want to do any business, he just wanted to seduce Yvette, and that’s why he did the shorts.” Inspired by the slightly longer, looser styles worn by surfers in California, his designs were in part to impress Yvette – a fashion designer.