What Are Burkinis?
A burqini is a type of swimsuit for women, designed in Australia by Aheda Zanetti. The suit covers the whole body except the face, the hands and the feet, while being light enough for swimming. The design is intended to accord with Islamic traditions of modest dress.
Zanetti’s company Ahiida owns the trademarks to the words burqini and burkini, but they have become generic terms for similar forms of Islamic swimwear. They’re a recent retail invention, not a religious requirement in any country.
Around a decade ago, an Australian woman of Lebanese origin created a swimsuit for Muslim women designed to permit them to keep their bodies covered while working as lifeguards on Australian beaches. Her design was dubbed the burkini or burqini.
Burkinis cover the head, torso and limbs much like a wetsuit with a hood. The word conflates the words bikini and burqa, a full-body covering with only a mesh screen for the eyes. Burqas are worn primarily in Afghanistan.