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This Brooklyn Bikini Brand Has a Very Unorthodox History

Meet the Hasidic Jews Behind This Bikini Brand
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Barry Glick is not your average bikini designer.

For starters, he has zero experience designing swimwear — or designing any wear for that matter. He’s not particularly involved in fashion either. Oh, he also is a Hasidic Jew living in Brooklyn.

None of this seemed to deter the 30-year-old father of five from starting a bikini company, Beach Gal, a year and a half ago.

A History of Fake Tanning
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Image: Giphy

Growing up in a sunny, beachside town in Georgia in the mid-2000s, it was always trendy to be tan. But thanks to my Irish-English roots, I was much more likely to burn and freckle than achieve the summertime bronze glow I so coveted. As I grew into teenagehood, girls with tans were always the most popular — they looked healthy and toned, not pale and sallow. A spray-tan studio opened up downtown the year of my junior prom, and every summer since, I’ve relied on sunless tanning lotions and spray tan booths to transform my vampiric white skin to a light, natural-looking bronze.

Fake tanning has come a long way, even since my high school days. These days, I go to an organic spray-tan studio in Atlanta, where I strip down to my skivvies for a quick all-over application by a trained tanning professional a few times a month during the spring and summer. There are really only two people who see me completely nude on the regular: my boyfriend and my spray-tan girl.

Follow along to see where the faux glow started, how it’s transformed from chemically dense and orange (looking at you, Paris Hilton) to the shimmering, natural bronze looks we see today.

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Fashion icon Coco Chanel launches the tan trend after getting too much sun during a yacht trip in the Cannes and returning with glowing, tan skin. Her friend Prince Jean-Louis de Faucigny-Lucigne is later quoted as saying, "I think she may have invented sunbathing. At that time, she invented everything." 

early 1940s

During WWII, it’s reported that women are applying tea bags to their skin to mimic a natural-looking tan and covering their legs in Bovril, thick meat extract, to create the illusion of wearing stockings.

Late 1950s
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The first known self-tan, dubbed ‘Man-Tan,’ arrives on the market containing sugar cane-derived DHA. Rather than merely staining skin, this concoction causes a browning reaction with the amino acids on the skin’s surface. 


Coppertone introduces the first ever mass-produced sunless tanning lotion product. Called "Quick Tan" or "QT," it’s touted as an overnight-developing sunless tanner.

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Makeup artists who worked with movie stars at 20th Century Fox use Max Factor liquid bronzer, which had become a staple in the cosmetics market at that time, to darken Elizabeth Taylor’s skin for her role as Cleopatra in the eponymous and iconic film.

See the full timeline here >>
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