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Miami Swim Week - The Shows: The Fun Fashion Week
FSW's impressions from Miami Swim Week - The Shows
The world’s largest swim and beach wear fashion show in the world, Miami Swim Week - The Shows, ran during July 3-10. Featuring over 200 designers, the shows were primarily hosted at the SLS Hotel in South Beach on a runway set over the hotel’s swimming pool. As is often the case, the world’s biggest swim show featured a bit of everything: models walking in the South Florida rain with show staff mopping down the catwalk periodically, a super-charged and lively environment, and amazing seasonal hues and prints displayed by the most diverse set of models in any fashion week. We enjoyed seeing the shows on July 7 and 8 while our team was in town.
It’s not fashion, but let’s start with the weather. Thunderstorms are almost always a possibility in South Florida during the summer and hit with Miami Swim Week with a nearly knockout punch on July 7. After all, Miami has a tropical monsoon climate. A busy itinerary at the start of the evening, featuring brands such as Cupshe, 209 Mare, Nicole Miller, and Jared Lang, was shifted back even more than is normal for a fashion event, where starting 45 minutes late is normally right on time.
In particular, Cupshe’s display of a rich range of bronze and brown bikinis, punctuated with a striking red one piece, was interrupted numerous times as the organizers pressed on and tried to keep the show on the schedule by having models walk in some pretty heavy showers. The show was stopped several times as organizers mopped down the runway and then was paused until the heaviest part of the rain passed after a model fell down. Fashion Strategy Weekly staff sought cover indoors and viewed the show from 8th floor of the SLS Hotel. Once the show resumed, our favorite was a bikini paired with a cover-up that looked to us like chaps.
This is a perfect segue to our next main impression: this is the most fun fashion week. As reviewers, we did not spend time trying to piece together the narrative of the shows and we did not even see that line sheets were created. What you do get is a show where models actively prompt audience cheers by pumping their hands and twirling at the end of runways with the effect supercharging the audience. A male model wearing South Beach Official mid-length trunks printed with a playful tie dye-like kaleidoscope of purples and blues produced a big audience reaction by running his hands over his head and neck while sharing down the photographers at the end of the runway.
Finally, while fashion everywhere talks about expanding the diversity of models, Miami Swim Week is the only one that delivers consistently. Models of all shapes and sizes represent brands across most collections. Our favorite for both diversity and perhaps overall for the show was Swana the Label. The designer gave us a sophisticated forest green tropical print presented in a variety of different looks: swimwear in numerous styles, sarongs, and cover-up robes. The diversity from showing a collection with a single print came with strong tailoring of different looks and from a very diverse and high energy set of models.
In conclusion, we found the July edition of Miami Swim Week great fun. We love the historicity and narrative components and have written extensively on how brands use live shows to underpin broader corporate strategy. There is some of that at Miami Swim Week, but this is an opportunity see fashion exhibit its ability to communicate with a broad-based audience with fun and with a sense of occasion.
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