I recently found this swimsuit from the late 1960s or early 1970s, and I bought it because of the interesting label and nice design. It looks like a rather conservative suit from the front, but turn it around and…
you get a whole other feeling.
I wrote about Rose Marie Reid some time ago after having read a biography of her. Rose Marie Reid sold her namesake company in 1962, but stayed on as the designer of the line. She left the company a year later over a dispute over the bikini, which Reid thought was indecent. The popular line continued, and around 1968 designer Leo Narducci was hired to design the line.
Narducci is not a very well-known name today, but he was well-respected as a designer in the 1960s and 70s. Narducci graduated from the Rhode Island School of design in 1960, and went to work at LoomTogs, a sportswear company. Over the next decade he designed for a number of firms, and in 1971 he started his own label, “specializing in soft clothes with casual outlines and elegant materials,” according to Eleanor Lambert. As far as I can tell, Narducci worked for Rose Marie Reid from 1968 through the early 1970s.
He also had a number of his designs made into sewing patterns by Vogue in the 1970s. Do a search for them to see what Lambert meant by “soft clothes with casual outlines.”
This ILGWU label is more confirmation of the age of this swimsuit. This label was changed in 1974 to include red, so it has to date before 1974.
The Rose Marie Reid company did go on to make bikinis, but the name is still associated with the covered-up but still sexy styles she created in the 1950s. Leo Narducci is still alive, and here you can see an interview with him from two years ago.