Styles made history in November when he appeared on the front of the US fashion bible in a Gucci dress and tuxedo jacket. The front, shot by Tyler Mitchell, was the first time a man had appeared solo on the cover.
The images sparked a debate online around masculinity, gender and dressing.
Owens, a US conservative critic and writer, claimed society could not “survive without strong men” and that the pictures of Styles were an “attack” on Western civilisation.
She said: "In the west, the steady feminization of our men at the same time that Marxism is being taught to our children is not a coincidence. It is an outright attack.”
Styles hit back at her criticism on Wednesday by sharing a striking picture of himself on Instagram.
Styles is pictured wearing a blue corseted suit jacket over a loose blouse as he poses with a banana in his mouth.
“Bring back manly men," the caption reads.
The post quickly went viral, amassing more than three million likes within hours of it being shared.
He said: “To not wear [something] because it’s females’ clothing, you shut out a whole world of great clothes.
“And I think what’s exciting about right now is you can wear what you like. It doesn’t have to be X or Y. Those lines are becoming more and more blurred.”
Actor and director Olivia Wilde, who is currently working on a film in which Styles-stars, replied to Owens’ tweets with: “You’re pathetic.”
The Good Place actress Jamil added: “Manly is whatever you want it to be.”
Owens responded to Styles’ comments on Twitter, writing: “When people try to tell me I don’t have influence, and then @Harry_Styles dedicates an entire post to my tweet. I inspire global conversation. #BringBackManlyMen."
She added: “Shots fired", followed by a series of laughing emojis.
When people try to tell me I don’t have influence, and then @Harry_Styles dedicates an entire post to my tweet.
I inspire global conversation. #BringBackManlyMen
— Candace Owens (@RealCandaceO) December 2, 2020
Styles, who found fame in boyband One Direction, has previously appeared on the cover of Guardian Weekend in a dress.