Buzzy Event of the Season: Inside Miami Swim Week 2016

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Gottex Runway show at W Hotel South Beach
Gottex Runway show at W Hotel South Beach

Photo Credit: David Heischrek/DHPA.com

This year’s Miami Swim Week brought in VIPs, celebrities, bikini connoisseurs, buyers, bloggers and more than a few gawkers for an action-packed week in mid-July. LDJ and SBI Productions’ SWIMMIAMI, while a tad more scattered than its centralized days at the Raleigh with IMG and Mercedes-Benz, carried on with a whirlwind of serious shows, in both the trade and runway variety. Swimwear’s hottest designers took over Miami to flaunt their newest collections giving buyers and fashion gals an eyeful of colorful options for next season. These included bold prints, stripes and vibrant colors that were spotted on every runway, taking a step away from last year’s neutral earth tones and boho-chic trends. Thursday night kicked off with some of the newcomers of the scene with a fun pop-up shop and runway show at the Edition Hotel’s Basement for the Angels Under Water charity fashion presentation hosted by celebrity model Nazanin Mandi, with proceeds benefitting the Angel Watching Over Me foundation. The runway show flaunted the So Akiba and Cai Swimwear collections. Later in the evening, Peroni presented the Emerging Designer Series at the new Nautilus Hotel.

Friday was jam-packed with back-to-back shows, pop-ups and parties throughout South Beach. Pitusa threw a sunset soiree at Soho Beach House’s exclusive Ocho rooftop, decked out in bright colors, festive decor, signature pom-poms and fun photobooths. Swimwear icons Tash Oakley and Devin Brugman made an appearance along with Instagram sensation Jenah Yamamoto, better known as Gypsyone.

Charlotte McKinney, Rachael Russell and Rocky Barnes
Charlotte McKinney, Rachael Russell and Rocky Barnes

Photo Credit: David Heischrek/DHPA.com

Undoubtedly one of the week’s biggest events was Rachael Russell’s Sixth Annual Style Saves charity fundraiser show, which took place at the Setai Hotel. Celebrity models Rocky Barnes and Charlotte McKinney hosted the show, which featured styles from Trina Turk, Montce and ishine365. Barnes’ involvement certainly helped bring in a crowd bigger and better than ever, eager to become involved since “[Rocky] is just as philanthropic as she is fashionable,” noted Rachael Russell.

Hot-as-Hell also gained serious recognition at this year’s shows with its newest runway collection, “Le Jardin de HAH.” This year, the funky brand transitioned away from last year’s risqué and rebellious runway show by bringing forth something new and unexpected—ballerinas, moms and kids—as they expanded from swim, lingerie and beachwear into childrenswear, maternity and bridal. This was certainly unexpected from the brand, but nevertheless impeccably executed, receiving high praise from the crowd.

The fan-favorite Frankie’s Bikinis, had a runway show with a psychedelic ’60s theme this year, with models strutting the runway holding lighthearted protest signs and flaunting suits with ultra-feminine lace-up detailing and signature boho-chic crochet accents, decked out in peace sign accessories against a psychedelic backdrop.

Simultaneously, Treats Magazine hosted its Monica Hansen beachwear presentation at Basement, which was certainly a runway show for the books. Treats models flaunted the suits on ice, gracefully circling around Instagram sensation The Fat Jew aka Josh Ostrovsky, who donned a skimpy speedo while sitting on a chaise in the center of the ice skating rink in honor of the star’s Issue 11 cover. The following after-party brought in celebs and high-profile attendees who came out to support The Fat Jew and the Treats’ beautiful models including Clint Eastwood’s son, Scott Eastwood. The Beach Bunny after-party also took place Friday evening at Rockwell Miami featuring a special performance by Rick Ross.

Luli Fama Runway show at FUNKSHION tent
Luli Fama Runway show at FUNKSHION tent

Photo Credit: Getty Images

On Saturday, Luli Fama debuted its “Wild Heart” collection, making a splash at the FUNKSHION tent with a high-energy show including colorful tie-dyes, bold colors and elaborate patterns with impressive embellishments against a backdrop of stage performers with tribal dancers and fire-throwers.

Tori Praver’s “Royal Castaway” at the FUNKSHION tent was another favorite, revealing the Greek-inspired line featuring delicate and light-colored earth tones and hand-sewn floral embroidery along with a Resort collection of ready-to-wear pieces including rompers, overalls, maxis and breezy separates, evoking the feel of a sophisticated European vacation.

Brody Jenner and Katilynn Carter
Brody Jenner and Katilynn Carter

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Top swimwear brand Indah closed the show at The W Wet Deck with “Casa Indah,” debuting a funky and fun collection filled with bright colors, prints and stripes. It was uniquely complemented by My Beachy Side’s ornamental ankle and foot accessories that resemble a pair of gladiator sandals. As per usual, Indah brought in a full house, with plenty of VIPs and celebrities looking on including Brody Jenner, who sat front row next to his beautiful girlfriend, Kaitlynn Carter. Following the event, Jenner hosted an after-party with Foray Collective at E11even where he served as the honorary DJ of the night.

Sunday capped off the weekend events with swimwear veteran—and the queen of prints herself—Mara Hoffman, as she hosted a lazy Sunday barbecue at The Standard Hotel. Here, guests basked in the sunny day on the water enjoying BBQ eats and “frosé” desserts—boozy snow cones made from rosé.

Maaji Runway Show at FUNKSHION tent
Maaji Runway Show at FUNKSHION tent

Photo Credit: Simon Soong Photography

In the evening, Maaji debuted its Resort 2017 Sunny Dream Inn Resort collection at FUNKSHION with a ’70s-inspired show. The fun, retro show left its mark on the Swim Week crowd, highlighting suits with oral geometric prints and patterns, signature cross backs, high necks and cut-out pieces, plus versatile dress styles with ruffled or bare shoulders. The models seemed to enjoy themselves on the runway, transferring high energy to the crowd as they popped balloons filled with confetti and celebrated the brand on the runway.

Draya Michele closed the weekend’s shows at The W as she presented her runway debut of the global social media sensation Mint Swim brand. Models showcasing the 2017 collection made their way to the runway strutting through the famous Wall Nightclub, pulling inspiration from the ’90s with neon-colored suits embellished with clear goggles and matching transparent booties.

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