Photo: MadammeBk Paris.
The original inventor of the burkini, Aheda Zanetti, has said that the furore surrounding the cover-up - which has been banned by French authorities - is "misunderstood".
"I think it's totally misunderstood. I feel so sorry for the people who are going to be affected by it," Zanetti told WWD of the ban which has been implemented in up to 15 beach resorts in Nice and Cannes. "The burkini was intended to integrate and bring people together. To give them the freedom of choice to wear something modest if they choose to be modest for whatever reason they need to be modest for. It should be happy and positive. It is turning something meant to give women the freedom of participating in health and fitness into a negative thing."
This weekend in Cannes, three women wearing burkinis on the beach were each given €38 fines by police patrolling the shore, while images have surfaced this week of authorities ordering bathers to remove their burkinis on a nearby beach. Last week, a French court upheld the ban following complaints from human-rights groups, saying that it "was necessary to avoid public disorder after a wave of attacks by Islamic extremists, including the murder of 86 people mown down by a lorry in Nice last month", reports The Times.