Who do we have to thank for the leotard? Jules Léotard, of course! Here’s the man himself, posing in his special trapeze costume. He was famous for being the first trapeze artist, back in the mid 1800’s. Who would have thought that his skin-tight suit would become even more famous than the man himself?
Known as the first man to fly on a trapeze (he inspired the 1867 song “The Daring Young Man on the Fying Trapeze”), French gymnast Jules Léotard abandoned a career in law to become a professional acrobat. Unsurprisingly, he was constantly on the hunt for practical performance gear. His skintight, one-piece was originally referred to as a maillot, or bathing suit.