Fashion

British retailer launches burkini range for Muslim women

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Sarah Biddlecombe
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Marks and Spencer is the first British high street retailer to launch an Islamic swimwear range called "burkinis" (burkha swimsuit) in the UK.

The burkinis consist of a head covering, tunic and trousers, which adhere to Muslim standards of modesty by "covering the whole body with the exception of the face, hands and feet". 

They're designed in contrasting blue or black with floral or paisley motifs

Nigella Lawson first brought the head-to-toe swimwear to public attention when she hit the beach in Sydney wearing a black burkini for protection from the sun five years ago.

burkini

Marks and Spencer has already been selling the swimwear, which currently retail at £49.50, in Dubai and Libya for three years.

Available in sizes 8 - 22, the full description for the three piece set reads, "This burkini suit covers the whole body with the exception of the face, hands and feet, without compromising on style. It's lightweight so you can swim in comfort."

burkini

The move comes amidst growing diversity on the British high street, where 'modestwear' is becoming increasingly popular.

Last year, H&M made history when it starred a hijab-wearing model in one of its fashion campaigns, and high-end designers Dolce and Gabbana launched a modestwear line in January. 

There is even a "Hijarbie" Barbie taking Instagram by storm.

Mariah Idrissi in H&M's campaign

Mariah Idrissi in H&M's campaign

Speaking about the decision to launch the swimwear in the UK, a spokesman for Marks and Spencer told The Daily Mail, "M&S provides a wide range of quality swimwear. We have sold this item for a number of years and it is popular with our customers internationally."

You can shop the range here.

burkini

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Sarah Biddlecombe

Sarah Biddlecombe is an award-winning journalist and Digital Features Editor at Stylist

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