Miami Swim Week is a marathon of fashion events centered on swimsuits that rolls into Miami Beach every July.
Thousands of manufacturers, buyers, designers, stylists, models, press and “social media influencers” go to catwalk capers, product launches, nightclub parties, designer presentations and private dinners.
There’s even a smattering of celebrities, such as Christina Milian, Tyson Beckford, Wale and Leighton Meester (Leo DiCaprio and Scott Eastwood made some model parties we hear). And if you are of the opinion that reality TV can produce a “star,” then you would have been thrilled to spot Eva Marcille (“America’s Next Top Model”), Darnell Nicole (“WAGS Miami”), Angel Brinks (“Basketball Wives L.A.”), Erica Mena (“Love and Hip Hop N.Y.”) and Tatu Baby (“Ink Masters” and “Black Ink Crew”).
Basically, people come from all over the globe because Miami Swim Week is the largest in the world. Because of that, we can get a good idea of the trends that you will see when these styles hit retail racks next spring for the 2018-2019 season.
While there is every possible kind of suit out there (the Boho trend is still very strong at the let’s-get-down-to-business trade shows) we focused on what’s new and directional on the catwalks.
MAJOR TRENDS ON THE RUNWAY
• Shimmer. Shiny fabrics, Lurex threading, gold beading, crystals and black sequins.
• Thong and high-cut legs. The behind has moved to the front of fashion with bared buttocks all over the runway. And if you haven’t gotten a Vanicure (a patented term for apres-wax product line the Perfect V) in a while, you might want to rethink that situation since swimsuits are often cut very high all the way up to the hip bone.
• Sleeker looks. Less ruched and frilly effects and more one-pieces with color blocking, multi straps, mesh panels and lattice work in the place of dizzying prints. The one-shoulder is making a return from the ‘90s.
• Versatility. Swimwear is mixing with ready-to-wear for the woman who wants to go from sea to shore without a wardrobe change so look for . Designers showed swimsuits with off-the-shoulder tops, halter tops and high-neck crop tops. Many styles are reversible of have ties that can twist front to back to give one suit many different looks. Off the catwalk, in the trade show suites, designers talk about how the savvy customer is buying a black bikini bottom and mixing and matching with several different styles of tops.
MINI TRENDS ON THE RUNWAY
• Hybrid of swimwear and activewear. Swimsuits are offering more support. Tankinis are still popular. And one of the newest silhouettes is a one-piece with a cap sleeve and a zip-front that resembles a scuba or a wet suit.
• Earth conscious. Not just earthier colors (such as clay, moss, olive, bark, rust brown and sunflower), but also designers and manufacturers are increasingly looking into using recycled and upcycled fabrics or sustainable material, like that made from the cassava root (instead of Lycra). A few luxury brands are focusing on hand- printing and dyeing to avoid commercial dyes.
FOR THE MER-MEN
Swim shorts that reach only to the upper thigh, about the same coverage as boxer underwear (say goodbye to surfer board shorts). The prints are usually either lush tropical botanicals or whimsical conversational prints.
FROM THE TRADE SHOWS
At the Hammock trade show at the W hotel: Lace, mesh panels and lattice effects; botanical and conversational prints; muted tones, cabana stripes on flats and sandals; feather jewelry.
At Swimwear Association of Florida’s SwimMiami trade show at the Miami Beach Convention Center: caftan coverups and maxi dresses in saturated colors and prints; Boho-chic has evolved into a world bazaar look (suits and coverups with hippie fringe, embroidery, pom-poms as well as straw bags and macrame should bags).