Swimmers in China have already made headlines for their bizarre, balaclava-like swimming headgear.
The ‘facekini’, a colourful facemask that covers the wearer’s entire head and neck, is popular among beachgoers in the country who wish to protect their skin from UV rays.
But now it seems the trend is going global, with one New York fashion magazine, CR Fashion Book, featuring the accessory in a photoshoot.
Images show models wearing brightly-coloured and patterned facekinis with designer swimsuits from brands such as Tom Ford, Chloé and Karla Colletto.
In a feature called Masking in the Sun, editor Mélanie Huynh writes: “Our latest summer story represents an opposing 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 center theirs around lightening and brightening. A tan does not signify a chic trip to Capri, but it could mean hours of hard labor spent out in the harsh sun.
“Our last swimwear story of the season blends all of the glamour of a Helmut Newton-esque pool party with the idea that a deep tan is the enemy. As it is said, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. These beautiful eyes are peering from behind a mask—still enjoying summer, but avoiding a summer glow at all costs.”