Some manufacturers and retailers refer to modern monokini swimsuit designs as a topless swimsuit, topless bikini.
The monokini, designed by Rudi Gernreich in 1964, consisting of only a brief, close-fitting bottom and two thin straps, was the first women's topless swimsuit. His revolutionary and controversial design included a bottom that "extended from the midriff to the upper thigh" and was "held up by shoestring laces that make a halter around the neck.
Unlike Gernreich's original design exposing the women's breasts, current designs are one-piece swimsuits that cover the women's breasts but typically include large cut-outs on the sides, back, or front. The cutouts are connected with varying fabrics, including mesh, chain, and other materials to link the top and bottom sections together. From the back the monokini looks like a two-piece swimsuit.
Learn more about the influence of swimwear on the fashion industry and for consumers.