A growing style pattern for men’s balaclavas that has viewed revenue surge has been condemned as inappropriate – mainly because of the garments’ association with attacks on women.

The fashion for encounter-masking headgear has been hailed by model writers as 1 of the crucial trends for 2022 after getting worn by a number of influential musicians and athletics stars.

They filtered down from the catwalk to the higher road, with versions by North Face, Adidas and Puma obtainable.

Style shopping platform Lyst claimed that world-wide-web searches for the men’s headgear jumped 344% yr-on-12 months concerning 2021 and 2022, whilst the web page a short while ago selected the balaclava as one particular of the “hottest” products for the duration of the remaining quarter of 2021 based on data gathered from Google, Instagram and Depop. On the resale web page StockX, lookups for balaclavas amplified by more than 5 periods all through the last two months of 2021.

Justin Bieber accomplishing in New York, September 2021. Photograph: Kevin Mazur/MG21/Getty Illustrations or photos for The Met Museum/Vogue

But some feminists and women’s rights groups have referred to as the development “inappropriate” and “irresponsible” mainly because balaclavas have long been related with crime, significantly sexual attacks on women.

Carolyn Pearson, CEO of Maiden Voyage, a journey firm specialising in women’s security, said: “Encountering any person in a balaclava can be particularly triggering and worrying for those people of us who are hyper-vigilant about our private security. The balaclava has extended been an item of clothing involved with and adopted by bad actors.”

Madeleine Black, sexual violence activist and author of Unbroken, which details her survival of these experiences, explained: “I would unquestionably affiliate balaclavas with violence and prison action and would truly feel extremely unpleasant with males wearing them in my vicinity. It feels an inappropriate manner craze earning girls feel far more unsafe and vulnerable. It would make me marvel why the wearer would like to conceal his face.”

Jeanette Forder, who advocates for women’s rights as a campaigner and life mentor, stated she was horrified at the pattern: “I am a runner and am concerned about my possess safety as I often go out on your own and have felt intimidated by gentlemen in the previous – having suffered adult males yelling out from auto home windows and having been flashed. So producing balaclavas a mainstream trend accent is a enormous no-no for me and need to be for society as a complete. They make it uncomplicated for males to commit crime and escape detection. For a woman, they are particularly scary. This is as definitely disturbing progress. I’m impressed at how irresponsible the fashion sector is becoming.”

The development seems to have begun when the Vetements label, common with the likes of Ye and Drake, started out selling them in 2018.

Development has been driven by TikTok, where films of drivers wearing sunglasses over balaclavas grew to become a craze and the expression “balaclava” has created much more than 152m views.

They have turned up in new catwalk displays, which include Jonathan Anderson at Loewe, Matthew Williams at 1017 Alyx 9SM, Ernest W Baker, Y/Challenge and Rick Owens and Cortiez. Even higher-end Stella McCartney has a model – for £295.