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.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
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: Web Development Manager

    £20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has ari...

    Recruitment Genius: Service and Installation Engineer

    £22000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has ari...

    Recruitment Genius: SEO / Outreach Executive

    £20000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client is a global marketin...

    Recruitment Genius: Junior Estimator

    £17000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has ari...

    Day In a Page

    A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

    A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

    Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
    Homeless Veterans appeal: Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served
    Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

    Scarred by the bell

    The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
    Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

    Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

    Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
    Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

    Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

    Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
    The Locked Room Mysteries: As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor Otto Penzler explains the rules of engagement

    The Locked Room Mysteries

    As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
    Amy Adams on playing painter Margaret Keane in Tim Burton's Big Eyes

    How I made myself Keane

    Amy Adams hadn’t wanted to take the role of artist Margaret Keane, because she’d had enough of playing victims. But then she had a daughter, and saw the painter in a new light
    Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

    Parting view of Ofcom chief... we hate jokes on the disabled

    Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog, Ed Richards
    A look back at fashion in 2014: Wear in review

    Wear in review

    A look back at fashion in 2014
    Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015. Might just one of them happen?

    Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015

    Might just one of them happen?
    War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

    The West needs more than a White Knight

    Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
    Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

    'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

    Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
    Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

    Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

    Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
    The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

    The stories that defined 2014

    From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
    Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

    Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

    Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?