In mid-seventies Los Angeles, artist / architecture student Leonard Koren was looking for a way to repay the models who had posed for his recent art projects. He decided to throw them a party. He wanted the evening to be something unexpected and a friend recommended he check out an out-of-the-way Russian-Jewish bathhouse. It was perfect.
On a sultry late-summer's eve, his friends danced, drank, and soaked in suits of every stripe, from bathing to birthday. It was one of those nights sprinkled with something special. "I just can't get over the mixture of people here and the lack of self-consciousness," a partygoer described in an LA Times feature that ran shortly thereafter. A reporter had serendipitously been in attendance and scrambled a photographer who snapped a picture of Koren welcoming fashion designer Rudi Gernreich (inventor of the world's first topless bikini). The coverage ran large and suddenly Leonard had cultural currency.