Monday 22 January 2018

Would you wear the facekini?

Linda Sharkey

CR Fashion Book’s most recent fashion shoot features facekinis, a bizarre Chinese summer accessory aimed at protecting the face from the sun.

In 2012, a trend emerged in China that saw beachgoers’ covering their faces in Mexican wrestler inspired masks. The popular swimming gear is a nylon sunscreen mask which covers the entire head and neck down the collar bones, revealing only the eyes, mouth and nose.

The facekini became popular in the north-eastern city of Qingdao. Women would wear them to protect their skin from the harmful rays and from jellyfish while at the beach. They’ve become so popular that they’re under mass production in China and are available to buy in local swim shops for 15 to 25 yuan (£1 to to £2.50) or online, available in different bright colours and playful prints just like swimwear, with prices from $16 to $24 (approx. £10 - £14).

The unusual Chinese trend has caught the attention of former Vogue Paris Editor, Carine Roitfeld, who ran a swimwear photoshoot of models wearing facekinis in her biannual magazine CR Fashion Book.

The editorial reads: “Our latest summer story represents an opposing to ideal of beauty altogether, with masked poolside models set out to soak up as little sun as possible.

“While our summer beauty routines are devoted to bronzing, self-tanning, and tan-extending, in Asia, beauty-seekers are more likely to centre theirs around lightening and brightening. A tan does not signify a chic trip to Capri, but it could mean hours of hard labour spent out in the harsh sun.”

Online Editors

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