My mother is 96.
She grew up with free standing tubs. They were called clawfoot tubs back in the day. It was hard to keep walls clean or paint on the other side. Soon they started boxing in those free standing tubs to make it easier. Then they made tubs that were enclosed on three sides and you could even shower use a curtain on just one side. You didn't need a hoop suspended from the ceiling to hold the curtain.
Will the fad last?
They do look nice.
A challenge to plumb for though.