The swimsuit, which covers the whole body barring the hands, feet and face, was blasted by France’s women’s rights minister Laurence Rossignol.
The ‘burkini’ is sold at M&S stores in the Middle East, but will be going on sale in London’s Marble Arch store soon.
Ms Rossignol said: “What’s at stake is social control over women’s bodies. When brands invest in this Islamic garment market, they are shirking their responsibilities and are promoting women’s bodies being locked up.
“You cannot pass off as trivial and harmless the fact that big brands are investing in a market that puts Muslim women in a situation of having to wear that.
“It is irresponsible on the part of these brands. All those who participate in how society is represented have a responsibility.”
And it was not just Ms Rossignol’s socialist party that opposed the swimming costumes.
Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet, a former environment minister and member of the centre-right Republicans, said: “I don’t like it. This is about hiding away a women’s body and a part of the individual and its originality.
“Fashion is the expression of a temperament, of originality.”
A M&S spokesperson said their brand “provides a wide range of quality swimwear. We have sold this item for a number of years and it is popular with our customers internationally”.
France has banned the full-face veil, stating both security concerns and the country’s strong secular tradition.
But some French Muslims also slammed the politician’s stance.
Samira, a nurse from Yvelines, near Paris, said: “We are a free country and we have the right to wear what we like. Nobody’s forcing me. Why don’t we talk about the real problems of this country, like unemployment that keeps going up?