Sydney - Australian swimwear designer Aheda Zanetti on Thursday defended the full-length swimming costume she launched as the "burqini" five years ago.
Her comments came after a French woman was denied entry to a Paris pool because she was clad in the head-to-toe swimwear. The woman was told regulations prevented people from swimming when they were clothed.
"If you're not happy with it, find out more about it," Zanetti told Australia's AAP news agency in reference to the burqini controversy. "Let's talk about it. Let's open the conversation up and discuss."
Zanetti said the burqini had allowed Muslim women to swim and compete in sport without having to expose anything more than their face, hands and feet.
Zanetti, who runs the Sydney swimwear company Ahiida, said variations on her burqini had been adopted all over the world.
"A lot of people are appreciating it, the fact that we've put our foot down, ... we didn't give up," she said. "They are choices, just women's choices, that's all it is." (dpa)