Fourth generation of 'face-kini' soon to hit beach in Qingdao
Updated: 2015-05-24 10:00
This photo, taken on May 21, 2015, shows that samples of the fourth generation of face-kinis have designs that resemble masks used in famous Beijing Operas in Qingdao, coastal resort city of east China's Shandong province. [Photo/CFP]
The face-kini is a nylon face mask that covers the head and neck, leaving holes only for the wearer's eyes, nose and mouth. The mask is primarily worn to block out the sunshine, but some swimmers say they are also using the masks to protect themselves from jellyfish stings.
This protective head mask has prevailed on beaches in eastern coastal resort city Qingdao for years. Middle-aged women, well known as Chinese "Dama", are the major fans of the product.
Zhang Shifan, a woman in her late fifties, is the inventor of the face-kini. Zhang said that she has been promoting the fourth generation of face-kinis, which will resemble Beijing Opera face masks.
Zhang added that her product has evolved over the years. The first generation of face-kinis was of relatively poor craftsmanship and did not fit the face so tightly; this was changed in the second generation. The third generation added a triangle design on the top of the mask to make it more comfortable. The coming fourth generation of the face-kinis carries ornamental designs.
According to Zhang, the fourth generation of face-kinis will be unveiled at the 13th China International Marine Fair (CIMF) and China International Boat Show, which opens at the Qingdao Olympic Sailing Center on May 22. The new product would be put into mass production this July.
Since its debut in 2006, face-kinis have enjoyed wide popularity among China's beach-goers. Last year, a photo series on face-kinis published by French Fashion Magazine 'CR FashionB ook' made people outside of China take notice of the unique piece of swimwear.