It’s no secret that swimsuits and resort wear are the unofficial Miami uniform, and our beach bags are always packed. Since 2005, buyers, media and fashionistas have converged on our city for Miami Swim Week, excited to watch models sashay down the runway in the latest trends. But when IMG pulled out of the swim fashion week in 2015, the week-long event became even bigger—so big and so spread out, in fact, that some say it’s become overwhelming and confusing. This year, old and new players hope to streamline the process with fresh new ideas and venues to showcase what’s hot for Swim 2020.
New this year, Nu Wave Swim is a production of high-energy fashion events, activities and runway shows by emerging and established swim brands dreamed up by Miami’s World Red Eye founder Seth Browarnik and his partner, Michele Addison. “We’re not a trade show coming in for four days. We are people that are from Miami, who love this city and want to make it better,” says Browarnik. To make an even bigger splash, the duo has partnered with Swim Show—the largest swimwear trade show in the world—and teamed up with the former show producer and director for IMG. “We needed their background and expertise so that the shows run perfectly. We wanted to put it back on the map.” The epicenter of Nu Wave Swim will be the lush Miami Beach Botanical Garden, another first for Swim Week, where designer brands such as Tori Praver, Gottex and Vitamin A will hit the runway in epic fashion; an emerging designer show that includes Revival and other brands will close out the weekend. “Our show is 250 seats, and we are treating everything with white-glove service. We want to keep things smaller and easier for our VIPs,” says Browarnik. Nu Wave is also leading a movement to do good for our oceans, with a plastic-free policy at the venue. Expect food and beverage by acclaimed chef Michael Schwartz, wellness activations by Sacred Space and Barry’s Bootcamp, and a “Fashion For Breakfast” panel co-produced by Soho Beach House with Tori Praver. July 11-14, nuwaveswim.com
With the shiny new renovations at the Miami Beach Convention Center complete, the long-running trade show Swim Show will also have a fresh look and feel for its 37th year in operation. “The layout of the halls is new, the aesthetic of the trade show is new, the fine touches that we are so well known for are new, and most importantly, our runway shows and fashion presentations are new,” notes Judy Stein, executive director of Swimwear Association of Florida. Some of the vendors participating are Luli Fama, Vitamin A, Red Carter and Hale Bob. When it comes to trends in swim, Stein says sustainability and versatility are two of the most important aspects for Swim 2020. “Swimwear textile manufacturers are utilizing cleaner technology and better efficiency. Multifunctional swimwear is also gaining in importance for the time-strapped consumer who won’t mind paying a higher premium knowing they are getting a more versatile garment that goes from gym-to-swim and beach-to-street.” Other trends to watch for are high-powered shaping swimwear, bandeau tops, high-waisted bikini bottoms and suits in geometric, tone-on-tone and Art Deco geometric-inspired prints. July 13-16, swimshow.com
Paraiso Miami Beach plays a big role again this year with more than a dozen runway shows by top swim brands such as Acacia, Badgley Mischka, Sinesia Karol, Monday Swimwear, Agua Bendita and Luli Fama. Look for a pop-up double decker overlooking Miami Beach, where attendees can also shop swim collections, accessories and jewelry as well as meet some of the designers while the second-floor terrace will play host to industry panel discussions and presentations, along with wellness mornings hosted by Lululemon. In true Miami style, dive into a lively pool party at The Plymouth South Beach thrown by Parisian eyewear brand Izipizi and Australian pool float brand Sunny Life. There will be other off-site venues housing Paraiso Miami Beach events, like The Setai Miami Beach, Lincoln 1111 and Artechouse, and for the first time, the show will also invade Brickell. Maaji will showcase its Resort 2020 collection to industry influencers and invited residents and visitors at the Brickell City Centre, and other wellness and shopping experiences will take place there throughout the weekend. “I’m excited to see Paraiso Miami Beach growing into a consumer-driven festival that brings a new lifestyle component to the swim and resort-wear industries,” said Aleksandar Stojanovic, co-founder of Paraiso Miami Beach. July 11-14, paraisomiamibeach.com
Along with industry events, there are so many satellite events that have cropped up, it will make your head swim. “Art Loves Fashion at Faena Forum has great shows where the public can purchase tickets. Planet Fashion is another one,” says Cece Feinberg, president of Cece Feinberg Public Relations. Feinberg, who’s been involved with Swim Week since its inception in 2005, says that the week has become so huge that she decided to step in and make it easier for everyone by creating the website swimweekcalendar.com. “Whether you’re a buyer, a member of the press, or a lover of fashion, many don’t know where to go. The website puts all the events in one place, it’s the fashion calendar of Swim Week,” says Feinberg, adding that the global attention is growing too. “You have government organizations like ProColombia and ABEST (The Brazilian Association of Fashion Designers) working to make sure that they can help their swim, athleisure and resort designers break into the U.S. market and they realize that the best way to do that is to be involved in Miami Swim Week. I’ve had brands call for a consultation about what they should know if it’s their first time attending or participating in Swim Week from Australia, Russia, Germany, Israel and Thailand.”
While many events are invitation-only, do your research to see which events you can attend. You never know who’ll you discover. “Once upon a time, no one knew who Red Carter was—and then boom, he put on this amazing show and everyone was talking about this hot new designer. Same with Frankie; she was only 19 when she showed at the Raleigh Hotel and it made a huge impact in her career,” says Feinberg. “That’s what makes runway so exciting. It’s four-dimensional on the runway, with the sights and sounds and flavor of someone’s design and imagination coming to life. That’s the magic.”