The industry’s largest event makes some important shifts for Season 2019
By Lori Riviere
Miami Swim Week is the largest swim and resortwear event globally that combines a market week and runway shows. Brands, buyers, media and influencers come from all over the globe to mix, mingle and do business.
This year Swim Week will be held from July 12-17, 2018.
The three trade shows—SwimShow, Hammock and Cabana—will all be back this season. As usual, SwimShow will be held at the Miami Beach Convention Center, and Cabana will take place in the long white tents across from Collins Park in Miami Beach. However, the big news for Swim Week Miami is that Hammock has moved. The show has relocated to the 1 Hotel South Beach at 2341 Collins Avenue. Hammock will continue to feature a mix of individual suites for brands that want to create their own intimate environment, plus more traditional booth spaces in the large hotel ballroom. According to the show producers, the move was prompted by a desire to accommodate more exhibitors in a more spacious layout, providing buyers easier logistics and quick access between the individual rooms and the main show floor. The private suites will be adjacent to the ballroom, just a half-floor up.
When IMG left, the vendors they had used to produce their event formed SWIMMIAMI, which—along with Funkshion—served the needs of designers wanting runway shows for the last three years. In other big news, SWIMMIAMI has decided to take a year off to regroup and re-analyze the needs of Swim Week. Therefore, they will not be hosting any runway shows this season.
Long before SWIMMIAMI’s announcement of its hiatus, a new event was being planned that could take Miami Swim Week to a whole new level. For Season 2019, Funkshion is being rebranded as PARAISO and is now the predominant producer of runway shows for the week. PARAISO, which will run July 12-16, will hold runway shows in a large tent in Collins Park—across the street from Cabana, catty-corner to Hammock and just blocks from Swim Show. They will also host some very Instagrammable fashion shows, with runways built over the pools at The Setai and Nautilus South Beach hotels. The Setai is next door to the Cabana tent, and Nautilus is two properties down. PARAISO producers plan to hold buyer/media events at the W South Beach.
Another popular runway platform, Art Hearts Fashion, will have shows at the ultra-chic Faena Forum, July 11-16. Their runway show format will now feature three shows back-to-back rather than one at a time, thereby making better use of attendees’ time. Michael Costello is confirmed to be one of a host of designers showing their collections with Art Hearts. A unique highlight will be the Saks Fifth Avenue Designer show.
Fashion Palette’s Australian Group Showcase is making its Swim Week debut at The Setai. The producers of Fashion Palette have been bringing Australian designers together to showcase their collections during New York’s Fashion Week for years. This season, they have decided to bring the incredibly popular show to Miami Swim Week. At press time, the final roster of designers had not been announced for this show, but the producers have confirmed that VDM The Label, TJ Swim, Frankie Swimwear and Lil & Emm are scheduled to showcase collections.
Tips for Surviving Swim Week
The Swim Week calendar always firms up at the last minute as far as parties, events and runway shows, but you can expect to see a lot more this season, including many that will be behind the scenes and not on the main calendar.
There is so much to see and do during Swim Week that it is hard to pack it all in. We recommend creating a schedule, blocking out times for trade show appointments, fashion shows and events.
Be sure to leave some open time to discover new brands, and check out some of the daytime events. Often some of the day events can give you ideas you might be able to implement or adapt for your customers. For evening shows, pick your top three shows to see that are at least an hour apart on the schedule and stick to those. Keep in mind there are often delays of around 30 minutes for runway shows, and traffic in Miami Beach can make what would seem like a 5-minute trip take much longer. Above all, enjoy the week and use the opportunity to introduce yourself to someone new, discover a new brand, or take a selfie with your favorite celebrity or influencer.
Swim Week hasn’t seen this many location and formatting changes since IMG left the market four years ago, so it will be interesting to see how things run this season.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Lori Riviere is the owner of The Riviere Agency, a fashion public relations and creative agency. The Riviere Agency has offices in Miami and New York, and offers services to fashion clients that range from photo-shoot production, to public relations and blogger and influencer outreach. The agency has developed a particular specialty in the swimwear industry, working with more than 50 swim and resortwear brands, ranging from major established labels to start-ups.