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Beneath the Carmen Mirandas and toucans, a forty year history beginning with Bethlehem, denim, and family feud unravels as the international symbol of beach beauty marks its big 4-0: Blue Man bikinis.

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Epic to fashion vocabulary, the Brazilian bikini and Blue Man are a legendary coalition (with an ode to Salinas, Lenny, Bum Bum and Cia Maritima). The culture alliance stems from brothers David and Simon Azulay when they began their bikini business in the early 70s upon their arrival to Rio de Janeiro from Bethlehem. Quarrels, tradeoffs, and bad bargains were the foundation of Blue Man before emerging as the brainchild to what remains one of Brazil’s top commodities.

From his signature jean bikinis (the breakthrough idea) to a series of thongs and an exploration of nylon and screen prints, David Azulay took Blue Man international overnight situating Brazil as the pinnacle for beachwear with his tropical vision. Paris, London and Milan were among the major Blue Man players as his powerhouse designs set sail before launching worldwide.

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Last month, Blue Man celebrated their 40th Anniversary during the catwalks of Rio de Janeiro’s fashion week. The collection features their design work over the years via vintage icons such as Paul Zulu, Talytha Pugliesi, and Ana Claudia Michels. Regarded for their tropical pattern experiments – this year even more ambitious introducing neoprene stamping – and audacious cuts including expert delta wings and micro shorts, Blue Man further relishes in its DNA as the visual language for Rio sands.

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Written by Angela Gleason

Angela Gleason, graduated in Advertising from San Francisco's Academy of Art University, she rocks the international world on creative fronts as a dedicated slash girl: visual designer / soundsavant / writer / glam lush, for the story beyond the surface. Angela looks after the Catwalk Yourself blog.

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