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Gernreich, Rudi

Rudi Gernreich was born in Vienna August 8, 1922. His father manufactured hosiery, his aunt owned a little dress shop. Rudi was 16 when Nazi invasions prompted his family to leave Austria. They settled in Los Angeles where he studied at Los Angeles City College for three years before entering Los Angeles Art Centre School for one year. Gernreich was a member of a modern-dance troupe before becoming a dress designer in 1948. In 1951 he entered a partnership with manufacturer Walter Bass to supply clothes to JAX, the Los Angeles boutique. In the late Fifties he started G. R. Designs Limited, which he changed to Rudi Gernreich Inc in 1964. From there he changed the face of fashion. His most famous creation was the monokini - the topless swimsuit Peggy Moffitt modeled that was not only scandalous, but sold out immediately. He also pioneered making bating suits without the heavy inner construction. He was the first to knitted tube dresses.He was the first to use cutouts in clothes, and used vinyl & plastic in clothes. He introduced the idea of androgyny in fashion.Designed the first soft transparent bra--the "no bra "bra. Invented body clothes based on leotards & tights. Used hardware, zippers, dog leash clasps etc. as decoration. Made the first designer jeans. Designed the first thong bathing suit, and made boxer short underwear for women 8 years before it became common place.