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Plus-size shops for curvy women pop up at Miami Curves Week

For the second year, plus-size swimwear will have a place at Miami Swim Week, that marathon of designer runway shows, product launches, afterparties and satellite events sprinkled this week throughout South Beach hotels, nightclubs and restaurants.

Miami Curves Week, created for curvaceous women, returns July 13-15 to the Marseilles Hotel in Miami Beach.

“We have partnered with 18 different designers that people [have] no clue about,” explains fashion stylist Sarah Williams, who produces the event with her partner, Deana Williams. “This event provides visibility for these brands.”

Some of the labels participating this year include Modcloth, Eloquii, Bjuled Couture, VonRay Designs, Mahogani Jenell and Lane Bryant.

“We don’t all carry our weight in the same way,” Sarah says. “I order online, and it doesn’t fit me the way I want it to. We have fitting rooms that we have created that women can try on the different brands that previously they couldn’t because it was only online.”

Most of the behind-the-rope events at Miami Swim Week are not open to the public, but that’s not the case for Miami Curves Week. Tickets for the VIP opening-night mixer, 4-7 p.m. Friday, cost $100 and include admission to all events throughout the weekend. Tickets to the Style Marketplace taking place 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday cost $10. Tickets for the Charity Red Swim Fashion Show, noon Sunday, cost $65. To order, go to MiamiCurvesWeek.com. The Marseilles Hotel is located at 1741 Collins Ave., in Miami Beach.

“People who attend see people who look like them,” says Deana, a filmmaker. “It’s people they can feel comfortable with, who they can mingle with. It’s really about the environment. That’s the main thing we’re trying to put out.”

They are also trying to raise awareness for heart disease and stroke with Sunday’s Charity Red Swim Fashion Show. “Everyone is going to wear red,” Sarah says. “All of our designers have created one-of-a-kind runway pieces.”

Both women agree that here in South Florida, Caribbean and Latino cultures have an appreciation of curvy women. But Sarah is quick to add, “I just think it’s more of the Coke-bottle form — the small waist and the larger hips. I don’t think curves have to look one way. You don’t have to do that thing where you say, ‘When I get a beach body.’ If you have a body, you have a beach body.”

rhagwood@southflorida.com

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