More than two decades before the house was slapping its logos on everything from skate decks to surfboards, the two interlocking C's that stand for Chanel made their way onto a bikini top that, however microscopic, has since accrued an enormous legacy. It all began in 1995, on a day that the late marketing genius Karl Lagerfeld may well have known would go down in history, given how he outfitted the supermodels Kate Moss and Cindy Crawford before sending them out onto the runway in Chanel's spring 1996 collection.
The look he chose for Stella Tennant, for example, amounted to barely-there scraps. Aside from a towel tied around her waist, her sole source of coverage on the runway was the barest minimum of what could be considered a swimsuit: two logo-covered nipple pasties, held together by a glorified thread.
Now, proving once and for all that we live in a democracy, you, too, can cause a scene in the suit. (Not to mention pay a very special homage to the late Lagerfeld.) Healthcare might not be accessible to all, but (temporary) ownership of a vintage Chanel micro-bikini now officially is—assuming that you're bold enough to inquire about the suit at El Cycèr, the vintage shop currently offering a 1996 edition for rent. Oh, and also assuming that you're fine with black—the bubblegum pink version worn by Carla Bruni sadly has yet to resurface—and with paying 10 percent of the bikini's unknown retail price for the opportunity. (We asked El Cycèr for the cost of renting the piece, and will update if we hear back.)
Mysteriously enough, the newly rentable pasties also appear to be a bit more conservative than in the past. Maybe #FreetheNipple really was successful in the end, or maybe our minds have been warped by some of the celebrities who've helped usher along the suit's resurgence—one of which, of course, is Kim Kardashian, who Instagrammed proof that she'd gotten her hands on a top and bottom last October. A penchant for bikini revivals, apparently, runs in the family; it was only a year earlier, after all, that Kim's sisters Kendall Jenner and Kourtney Kardashian staged a swimwear throwback to Legally Blonde while aboard a yacht in Cannes. As usual, though, the Chanel has since proven to be by far the most memorable.
Presumably out of concern for conservation (or hygiene), there are some restrictions: El Cycèr will only rent the suit to those who are in the city of Los Angeles. They'll also only do so for 72 hours—a window of time perhaps intended to be prohibitive, but in fact is full to the brim with possibilities. Why not schedule your rental right before a spring break bikini contest, or a polar plunge? Why not follow Kendall Jenner's lead and act like your swim suit is also your snow suit? And, while you're at it, why don't you make like Naomi Campbell in effectively shutting down those all too relatable rumors that you're pregnant with Skepta's baby?