Rudi Gernreich topless swimsuit 1960s We were all appropriately shocked! Fashion designer Rudi Gernreich introduced the monokini. Although not a commercial success, the suit opened eyes to new design possibilities. In the 1980s the thong or "tanga" came out of Brazil, said to have been inspired by traditional garments of native tribes in the Amazon. However, the one-piece suit continued to be popular for its more modest approach.