China’s Famous ‘Face-Kini’ Gets Porcelain-Inspired Facelift

Face masks for the beach known as face-kinis have become a curious fashion item in China in recent years. On Wednesday, models showed off the latest designs at a product launch on the sands of Qingdao, the eastern Chinese city where they were first popularized.

Present for the fashion shoot was Zhang Shifan, the woman credited with inventing the face-kini (pictured being interviewed).

In 2004, Zhang was running a small Qingdao shop selling swimwear when a woman came in asking for something to protect her face and neck. She had been stung by a jellyfish, the customer said. Zhang then designed the face-kini to cover the whole head and protect wearers from the sun and other irritants.

The new face-kinis feature embroidery and designs based on classic blue-and-white porcelain. Older lines featured Peking opera and endangered animals.

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