How Swim Week is Celebrating 10 Years
by julia ford-carther
Last year, 29 international swimwear brands unveiled their 2014 collections at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim.
For thousands of models, designers, and industry insiders (and their lucky plus-ones), July means Miami Swim Week—the electric start to the swimwear industry’s busy season and a look at the trends to come. One of the biggest draws is Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week (MBFW) Swim, now in its 10th year, held at the Raleigh Hotel. “We were approached by the city to launch an event to add showmanship that was complementary to [SwimShow], the largest [trade fair] in the world dedicated to the swimwear industry,” says Jarrad Clark, VP and global creative director at IMG Fashion, the production house behind Fashion Week.
Today, a seat at a MBFW Swim runway show is hard to come by. This year, IMG has expanded to new on-site poolside and penthouse shows, where guests can catch designers like Paola Robba of Poko Pano. Fashion-favorite Mara Hoffman returns with her signature prints, as will Luli Fama, Miami’s homegrown talent, which delivers high-energy entertainment and strong sex appeal. Other must-sees include L*Space by Monica Wise, back for its seventh run, and Maaji, which had a hit reveal last year with its pirate-themed, lingerie-inspired “Chimeric Wayfarer” show. New additions to the lineup include fashion brand Clover Canyon and Los Angeles–based Belusso and Mikoh, which will debut its mod minimalism on Saturday, July 19.
If growth were a trend, the Swimwear Association of Florida’s SwimShow would be leading. This year’s show features an additional 500,000 square feet to incorporate a wider variety of collections like Phat Buddha, the first fitness brand to participate in the show. “We are really excited about the new and fashion-focused collections we are seeing from the men’s, children’s, accessories, resort, and lifestyle areas of the industry,” says Judy Stein, the association’s executive director. So are, it would seem, the show’s anticipated 9,500 attendees. Of course, as Stein notes, the setting certainly helps. “Miami Beach offers a colorful party of its own.” Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim takes place July 17–20 at the Raleigh Hotel, 1775 Collins Ave., Miami Beach. Swimwear Association of Florida’s SwimShow takes place July 19–22 at Miami Beach Convention Center, 1901 Convention Center Dr., Miami Beach
photography by frazer Harrison/getty images for mercedes-benz fashion week swim 2014