Facekini: Bizarre Chinese summer accessory lands international fashion photoshoot

The colourful summer accessory cover the face and neck to protect the skin from the sun

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.”

Video: When the trend hit the beaches of China

The models are seen wearing sophisticated one-piece swimsuits from designers like Alexander Wang, Armani and Michael Kors, adorned with glamorous jewellery and facekinis in different colours and patterns. “These beautiful eyes are peering from behind a mask—still enjoying summer, but avoiding a summer glow at all costs.”

According to CNN, a local shop owner who sales the masks in China, says the facekinis first appeared about seven years ago, but with the increased awareness of sun damage and health concerns, it picked up couple years ago.

CNN Travel explains that Chinese women have a saying that translates to “white skin covers up a hundred uglinesses”. They use umbrellas while walking on the streets and wear long-sleeve tops on sunny days. It seems Asian women are extremely concerned about the sun damage in the skin. One of the shots from the CR Fashion Book photoshoot Copyright: Alexandra Utzmann, CR Fashion Book

Recently, it was revealed that topless sunbathing is no longer “du jour” in France due to the increased awareness about skin cancer. There’s more recognition of the detrimental damage of UV rays on the skin, and women have taken action perhaps not as extremely as Asian women, for example, who have opted to not even reveal their face to the sun.

Although it seems a bizarre summer accessory, facekinis might land in your favourite swimwear store sometime soon.

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Life and Style
Powdered colors are displayed for sale at a market ahead of the Holi festival in Bhopal, India
techHere's what you need to know about the riotous occasion
Arts and Entertainment
Larry David and Rosie Perez in ‘Fish in the Dark’
theatreReview: Had Fish in the Dark been penned by a civilian it would have barely got a reading, let alone £10m advance sales
News
Details of the self-cleaning coating were published last night in the journal Science
science
News
Approved Food sell products past their sell-by dates at discounted prices
i100
News
Life-changing: Simone de Beauvoir in 1947, two years before she wrote 'The Second Sex', credited as the starting point of second wave feminism
peopleHer seminal feminist polemic, The Second Sex, has been published in short-form to mark International Women's Day
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Fashion

    Recruitment Genius: Finance Assistant / Credit Controller

    £16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are an award-winning digit...

    Ashdown Group: Senior VMware Platform Engineer - VMware / SAN / Tier3 DC

    £45000 - £55000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior VMware Platform En...

    Recruitment Genius: Purchasing Assistant

    £10000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A distributor of specialist ele...

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Ledger Assistant

    £17000 - £19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A distributor of specialist ele...

    Day In a Page

    Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

    Homeless Veterans campaign

    Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
    Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

    Lost without a trace

    But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
    Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

    Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

    Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
    International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

    Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

    Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
    Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

    Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

    Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
    Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

    Confessions of a planespotter

    With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
    Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

    Russia's gulag museum

    Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
    The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

    The big fresh food con

    Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
    Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

    Virginia Ironside was my landlady

    Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
    Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

    Paris Fashion Week 2015

    The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
    8 best workout DVDs

    8 best workout DVDs

    If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
    Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

    Paul Scholes column

    I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
    Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

    From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

    Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
    Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

    Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

    The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
    War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

    Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

    Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable