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The woman who made summer sexy, Australian bikini queen Paula Stafford is marking her 100th birthday with a low-key nursing home celebration due to COVID-19 restrictions.
- Paula Stafford wanted to be an architect but was told at school that she should pursue something more feminine
- By 1964, her fashion empire was the second biggest industry on the Gold Coast
- Mrs Stafford has outlived her husband and four children and will celebrate her 100th birthday with her grandchildren
“I hadn’t heard the name bikini in the early days. I called mine a two-piece,” the Gold Coast icon laughed as she engaged in her last ABC interview in 2014.
“I cut a one-piece in half, that was my first two-piece.”
Frenchman Louis Réard invented the bikini in 1946, but Ms Stafford popularised the controversial swimwear design and put a burgeoning holiday destination on the map.