The Buzz: A Look Inside Miami Swim Week 2017

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LULI FAMA - Front Row - July 2017 - FUNKSHION Swim Fashion Week
Natasha Oakley and Devin Brugman front row at Luli Fama by FUNKSHION

Photo Credit: Romain Maurice/Getty Images

Miami Swim Week heats up the city for weekend-long runway shows and exclusive events. 

Mid-July was exceptionally hot in Miami as fashionistas, bikini lovers, bloggers, celebs and buyers flocked to the Magic City to partake in yet another year of Miami’s beloved Fashion Week—Miami Swim Week. Divided between SBI Productions’ SWIMMIAMI and the ever-popular FUNKSHION fashion shows, attendees navigated between the W South Beach, The Setai, The FUNKSHION tent and the new 22nd and Park Ave. SWIMMIAMI tent, as well as other pop-up venues throughout the city for an action-packed series of events showcasing the latest swimwear collections from top designers.

SWIMMIAMI Hot-As-Hell 2018 Collection - Runway
Hot-As-Hell by SWIMMIAMI

Photo Credit: Photo by Rodrigo Varela/Getty Images

On the lineup were swimwear vets like Indah, Frakies Bikinis, Minimale Animale, Beach Bunny, Maaji, Luli Fama and more, but this year also featured newcomers, like the highly anticipated Sports Illustrated swimwear debut. And they certainly exceeded the crowd’s expectations. The brand started off the week with an exclusive opening party at the W South Beach Miami’s WET Deck, which featured a runway show as well as a live rap and dance performance by Wale. Following the performance, guests took to the spot’s renowned nightclub, WALL, to continue the festivities late into the night. Friday kicked off the official shows, and the brands on deck set the tone for a very memorable week. The always-illustrious Hot-As-Hell show, now in its third season, debuted another killer runway performance by SWIMMIAMI, starting off with Chantel Jeffries taking the stage and inviting the audience on a “journey through paradise.” The collection included ready-to-wear swimwear and lingerie in an array of color palettes inspired by nature, offset by corsets and ruffles. Always mixing up its style each year, Hot-As-Hell flaunted a new theme aptly named HAH Chinous, fixated around a stunning print featuring Chinese characters. For the second year in a row, HAH showcased a trendy children’s collection featuring adorable young models that stole the show. Maintaining the theme of many of the other shows like KAOS and Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Collection, the brand emphasized that all body types matter, including plus-size models as well as pregnant models with maternity wear.

Rachael Russell, Paulina Vega & Rocky Barnes2
Rachael Russell, Paulina Vega & Rocky Barnes at Style Saves

Photo Credit: World Red Eye

One of our personal favorites was, of course, the Style Saves Show, holding its seventh annual season of a sold-out event. This year’s runway took place at The Setai Hotel in the courtyard, and featured looks from the recently opened Alice + Olivia in the Miami Design District, iShine365 and three.six.mafia. More than 600 guests packed in the space, eager to see what philanthropic fashionista Rachael Russell had in store for this year’s affair. For the second year in a row, beach babe Rocky Barnes hosted the event, this year with former Miss Universe Paulina Vega. The stunning duo amped up the crowd for the exciting evening of fashion and philanthropy. As always, the event drew in some of the biggest names of the week, including Leonardo DiCaprio, David and Isabela Rangel Grutman, Scott Eastwood, Mexican singer Luis Miguel, Ariel Nakash, Maggio Cipriani and Miansai founder Michael Saiger. Since its inception seven years ago at Soho Beach House, the Style Saves Show has grown increasingly larger in attendance and awareness, each year gaining more recognition and bigger names headlining the fundraiser, which gives back to a great cause. Russell’s nonprofit, Style Saves, raises funds for underprivileged students by working with retailers, designers and boutiques to provide the students with fundamental necessities they need as she reinforces confidence through clothes. “Each year, I am so humbled by the incredible support we receive here in Miami and internationally. As our show continues to grow every year, and we continue to work with amazing partners, I can’t help but think about how many children’s lives we will affect, and I couldn’t be prouder,” Russell said.

Sports Illustrated's MJ Day and Hailey Clauson by SWIMMIAMI
Sports Illustrated’s MJ Day and Hailey Clauson by SWIMMIAMI

Photo Credit: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Saturday afternoon commenced strong as treats! magazine, famous for holding one of the biggest and sought-after events of the week each year, held its Issue 12 launch party at the swanky 1 Hotel South Beach rooftop, sponsored by Absolut Elyx. The white-themed rooftop fête brought in an A-list lineup of guests like Scott Eastwood, Steve Shaw and Rocky Barnes as they lounged poolside throughout the day. treats! also hosted a posh after-party later that evening at new Delano hot spot, Doheny Room. Back at the shows, Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Collection brought in a full house as the iconic brand launched its first-ever swimwear collection. Not only was it a fashion show featuring a first-look at their stunning collection of swim pieces, but it was also a competition, where 15 aspiring models competed for a chance to be featured in the 2018 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue. Gold and metallic suits as well as sheer paneling prevailed down the W South Beach WET Deck runway as guests and onlookers cheered on the crowd. Sports Illustrated’s MJ Day and model Hailey Clauson made a literal splash at the finale of the show, as they both jumped off the runway and into the cold waters of the pool to celebrate the culmination of the first runway debut, bringing the crowd to a round of enthusiastic applause.

LULI FAMA - Runway - July 2017 - FUNKSHION Swim Fashion Week
Lula Fama by FUNKSHION

Photo Credit: Fabiano Silva/Getty Images

Other headliners of Saturday included Luli Fama, which took guests on a tropical journey to Cuba, and Minimale Animale, which debuted a provocative pole-dancing show at Miami’s top nightclub, ORA. Luli Fama rocked the runway at the FUNKSHION tent, as the show kicked off with a moving musical performance featuring trumpet players and dancers, pumping the crowd up for the exciting journey to follow. The runway featured the brand’s “Viva Cuba” 2018 collection, which included bold prints, bright colors and a range of styles including sheer paneling and cutouts, with a strong presence of floral and Caribbean notes, such as tropical flowers in the models’ hair, straw hats, bright-colored head wraps and more. Front row attendees included Tash Oakley and Devin Brugman, Ludi Delfino, Rocky Barnes, Jenah Yamamoto and more, and the after-party at The Shore Club’s Red Room brought in the top 15 girls of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition.

SWIMMIAMI Minimale Animale 2018 Collection - Runway
Minimale Animale at ORA by SWIMMIAMI

Photo Credit: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Next door at ORA, Minimale Animale, known for its risqué, edgy collections, debuted one of the week’s most memorable performances as attendees packed the top nightclub against blaring music, dark lights illuminated by a glowing “Minimale Animale” LED projection and a silver sparkling runway centered around a pole fixed for the models. The sexy environment was heightened as each model made their way down the runway to the beats of deep house music and smoke, stopping along the way to perform on the stripper pole in revealing swimwear pieces of the brand’s newest looks. Sexy lace and lingerie-style swimwear were key in the collection, as well as black sheer and revealing cuts. The models were accessorized by simple metallic silver chokers and slicked-back hair, enhancing the erotic runway aesthetic.

SWIMMIAMI Frankie's Bikinis 2018 Collection - Runway
Frankies Bikinis by SWIMMIAMI

Photo Credit: Alexander Tamargo/Getty Images

Frankies Bikinis closed the night at the SWIMMIAMI tent, where the popular brand invited in a full house to view the newest collection. The runway took on a fun, girly pajama party theme as the Frankies girls pranced down the catwalk in bright colors of pink and blues, florals, denim and bright pastel two-piece sets as they bounced to a soundtrack of ’90s-themed iconic songs from the Backstreet Boys, Britney Spears and more. The show was magically transformed to the sleepover party that every girl wanted to get invited to—and it sure was, as onlookers pressed themselves to the windows outside the tent to get a glimpse in on the fun.

Maaji & Seafolly at The Setai by FUNKSHION
Maaji & Seafolly at The Setai by FUNKSHION

Photo Credit: Jason Koerner/Getty Images

Sunday served as the finale of the steamy week and featured no shortage of hot runway presentations. A combined show put on by FUNKSHION for Maaji and Seafolly was the headliner of the night, drawing in a full crowd to the stunning Setai Hotel. In a magical show that saw Maaji’s Colombia meet Seafolly’s Australian summer, the two brands rocked the runway with florals, palm and foliage prints emblematic of the Colombian brand’s heritage, accentuated by edge-lit Perspex visors and metallic accessories. The show’s after-party followed, where a performance by Latin Grammy Award-winning Colombian group ChocQuibTown took place and sips from Chandon California were provided.

SWIMMIAMI INDAH 2018 Collection - Runway
Indah by SWIMMIAMI

Photo Credit: Alexander Tamargo/Getty Images

Back at the SWIMMIAMI tent, Indah transported guests on a magical carpet ride as it debuted its latest 2018 Collection. The Indonesian, boho-chic brand featured a runway that brought together bohemian flair and vintage Vogue into one seamless show, with metallic gold and silver, lovely lace and suspenders and bungee supports commanding the runway. As the demonstration was taking place, they simultaneously live-streamed the footage to the company’s website, promoting the brand’s first entry into the “see now-buy now” movement. Longtime Indah lovers like Helen Owen, Kaitlynn Carter, Whitney Fransway and more lined the front row to finish off an incredible 2017 Miami Swim Week with the iconic brand.•

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