Swim Week 2011

The Fashion Community Takes Over South Beach to Showcase the Future in Swimwear

There are the parties: Trina Turk poolside at The Raleigh; Ed Hardy on the roof of the Gansevoort and at Kitchen 305 in the Newport Beachside; True Religion at both The Gansevoort and LIV; Tyler Rose in the Betsy’s B Bar; Front Model Management at Nikki Beach; 944 and Diesel at The W; and too many more to mention.

There are the one-offs: Matthew Williamson’s Quintessentially-presented Pop-Up Shop in The Webster; Kendra Wilkinson’s first-ever Florida book signing in the Gansevoort’s “Lifestyle Retreat Lounge;” Nicole Miller’s in store benefit for Florida Heart Research Institute (with Nicole Henry doing the crooning); Trina Turk’s shopping and tea in-store up at Bal Harbour; ad infinitum.

And, like Art Basel, there are the satellites: Addicted to Fashion (at Nikki Beach), Funkshion (at The Setail), Salon Allure (at the W), and, perhaps largest of all, the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Swim (at The Raleigh).

It’s all part of Swim Week. And all this and then some revolves around SwimShow at the Miami Beach Convention Center, a hustling, bustling and glamor-soaked affair that brings togethereveryone with anything to do with bikinis and board trunks. We mean, of course, designers and buyers and bathing beauties, as well as themedia that that so covets the form. All of whom swing through South Beach for a week full of wining and dining and partying the likes of which even we rarely get to see.

Launched by the Swimwear Association of Florida (SAF) way back in 1982, SwimShow has become the de facto go-to spot for designers of every stripe. All the big names are here – Nautica and Nina Ricci and Ralph Lauren Blue Label, as well as such fun-loving brands as Bikini Thief and Betty Boop and Cha Cha’s House of Ill Repute. There’ll even be a booth from our very own Venissac (#969), whose patented brand of Tropicalisimo has been stirring up our town for the better part of fifteen years.

Most importantly though, is SwimShow brings some 2000 lines all to one place, where the can be ogled and boggled and bought, for every market in the world.

It’s a crazy confab of skin-baring finery, and the fact that SwimShow has spawned more than its fair share of satellites proves it couldn’t occur in a better place. No one does commerce under the sun and stars better than we do, and SwimShow is our chance to prove it to the world.

Here’s a quick lowdown on some Swim Week satellites:

Addicted to Fashion

With outposts everywhere from Cabo San Lucas to Cannes to Koh Samui, Nikki Beach has an almost organic tie to swimwear. What else would you don at an oceanside paradise? This being so, it’s only natural that the bathing behemoth would host their very own swim week, and that it’d take place at their flagship location at the foot of Ocean Drive. The festivities begin with shows from House of Jackie Brown, Aqua Bendita and Maaji, and end with Perfect Tan, Liz + Tara and AZ Araujo, and in between its Keva by Keva J, Azure, Kristi Grinna and Nani Nalu. But here it’s the where that’s as important as the who and the what. And as anyone who’s ever spent a Sunday under the sun at this swing spot will tell you: Nikki Beach knows how to throw a party. Add a gaggle of barely-dressed beauties in some of the finer lines ever designed and you’ve got a concoction as potent as knockout drops.

Funkshion

Funkshion “fuses music, art and fashion,” so it’s no surprise that this meeting of the minds and bodies will include everything from an unveiling of the new Lamborghini to an appearance by Erika Jayne. Laguna Beach Swimwear, Just Cavalli and INCA are some of the brands showing this time around, and the setting will be none other than the Setai. In the six years that Funkshion’s been in existence, they’ve set themselves up as a sorta fab fun alternative to an already fab fun extravaganza. Expect year seven to be equally fantastic – and then some!

Salon Allure

According to their press release, this “boutique luxury tradeshow” has already sold out of show spaces for its inaugural season. And while that might only amount to 20 spots, it’s 20 of the hottest brands in the business. Diesel leads the field, and it is Diesel who will be kicking off the five day (and night) affair, which includes a Bliss Spa Happy Hour, a daily Style Suite, and business consulting services from The Beacon Council. Also featured will be the brands Pin Up Stars, Hot Tuna and Jessica Simpson, as well as NYCKED, “a swimwear line from Lorenzo Martone of ARC NEW YORK and Jules Kim of Bijules. That Salon Allure has staked their claim at The W surely means they’re here to make some serious noise.

Mercedes Benz

Brought to bare (almost literally) by IMG (the folks behind The Daily, The Fashion MINI, and fashionweekdaily.com) as well as the mighty Mercedes Benz, and staged mostly at the inimitable Raleigh Hotel, this satellite pretty much needs its own galaxy. As mentioned, Trina Turk kicks off the proceedings, and ensuing days and nights will be filled with the likes of White Sands, Beach Bunny, Swell Suits, Ed Hardy and Poko Pano, among others. But like we said, this satellite requires its own galaxy, and there will be events at the Bass Museum (Red Carter) and Nikki Beach (AZ Araujo) as well. Previous years events were sold-out even before most of them were announced and were attended by enough bold-face names to pack People’s people page for a full year; 2011 promises to be no exception.

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