Q&A: How Wildfox is Bringing Swim Week Back to the '90s

July 18, 2014 | by Christine Borges | Style & Beauty

Wildfox designer Leilani Shimoda admits to loving Sports Illustrated, the '90s, and Barbie.

A preview of Wildfox's 2015 collection 

Leilani Shimoda, the designer behind Wildfox Swim, loves combining the not-so-obvious, like vintage-inspired classics with daring Brazilian cuts. The brand, found at most high-end department stores, has a cult following among indie fashion lovers. With cheeky tops that say “take me on vacation” and “shopping is my cardio," one of Wildfox's greatest draws is its whimsy—and fans can see the latest whimsical pieces up close tomorrow at the Wildfox Pool Party & Trunk Show from noon-7 p.m. at the Boulan South Beach's rooftop pool. (2000 Collins Ave., 305-674-3315; RSVP to wildfox@ooandco.com)

We caught up with Shimoda while she's in town for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim to talk about her 2015 swim collection, and she told us how we can try her trends from the runway now. 

On this year's runway, which of your pieces do you think will stand out to the audience? 
LEILANI SHIMODA: Perhaps the Barbie terry cloth and surf jacket neoprene looks, but there's always room for surprise.

Your summer collections are known for their sassy, vintage aesthetic. What's changed since last summer? 
LS: We always keep our aesthetic in featuring vintage-inspired garments mixed with fun prints. The theme and era is completely different this year, so the whole style of the show will be new. 

A preview of Wildfox's 2015 collection 

Which era of fashion inspired this collection?
LS: Styles from the late '80s and early '90s, Barbie, vintage Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issues, and supermodels of the era. 

Which trends will emerge from your new collection? 
LS: Nineties sporty zipper play, soft terry cloth, gingham you can swim in, and hamburger bikinis. 

Which trend can we incorporate now? 
LS: Our flutter tops and new crop tops with little sleeves are so cute worn with shorts or skirts. Lightweight rib cover-ups with color-changing inks and scratch-and-sniff sunscreen smells are a great addition to any sunny wardrobe.

A preview of Wildfox's 2015 collection 

What's your warm-weather wardrobe like? Which summer staple can you absolutely not live without? 
LS: Rompers and my favorite Wildfox sunglasses in fun colors. 

When you're in Miami, what are your favorite spots to relax and eat? 
LS: Soho Beach House, and in the ocean.

If you had downtime to attend another designer's show during Miami Swim, which would it be?
LS: I'm excited to see what Mikoh does for their first runway.

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