It's not just any burkini: M&S launches new body-covering swimsuits for Muslims
Marks and Spencer now sells two styles of the full length swimming costume made famous by Nigella Lawson
It is the Islamic swimwear range with a little extra “magic and sparkle”.
In a sign of the growing diversity of shoppers, Marks and Spencer has put the burkini on shelves in Britain.
The burkini - designed to adhere to strict modesty standards - made headlines when donned by Nigella Lawson on a beach holiday five years ago as protection from sunburn.
The M&S version, which promises to cover the whole body “without compromising on style”, has already proved popular in branches in Dubai and Libya, where it has been on sale for three years.
But this is the first time customers have been able to purchase the suits in the UK. irish shoppers can purchase the burkini online through the store's website.
The introduction of the range follows a trend for more modest clothing lines.
Fellow department store House of Fraser already sells lightweight Islamic headscarves, or hijabs, designed by company Shorso to be worn during exercise.
Last year a Muslim model in a hijab appeared in an H&M advert for the first time, and in January Dolce & Gabbana became the latest designer label to offer a ‘modest-wear’ line, hot on the heels of other brands including Tommy Hilfiger.
The M&S three-piece burkini set comes in two styles - a blue floral number and a black version with a paisley print.
They will be available at the flagship Marble Arch store in London, as well as from the website, where Irish shoppers can purchase the burkini online.
The product description on the retailer’s website promises the burkini “covers the whole body with the exception of the face, hands and feet, without compromising on style”.
The outfit is also said to be “lightweight so you can swim in comfort”. It comes in sizes from eight to 22.
In a trend-setting move, Nigella Lawson famously wore a full-length burkini on Bondi Beach in Australia five years ago
Her black outfit, paired with a cap, was worn to protect her complexion from the damage of the sun, a spokesman explained.