One look at the getups on a sunny, Miami afternoon, and it’s clear – you’re in the swim fashion capital of the world. With panoramic views of bold hues and even bolder bikinis, Miami’s white-hot beaches could easily double as fashion-forward catwalks. But if you want the real thing, an actual white catwalk with lights, velvet roped and lists at the door, we’ve got that too. Miami Fashion Week, Funkshion Fashion Week Miami Beach, Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Swim and Art Basel make a splash on the global fashion stage year-after-year. Between sparkling poolside soirees, world-renowned tradeshows, pop-up shops and nocturnal after parties, Miami’s fierce fashion scene never closes shop.
The Spring Spectacle
Miami Fashion Week
Each March, the Miami Beach Convention center welcomes Miami Fashion Week – an institution in international trendsetting. The influence of Miami Fashion Week reaches beyond the expected swimwear. As the longest running fashion week in the region, Miami Fashion Week turns out a staggering amount of Caribbean and Latin American designs in the evening wear, denim, jewelry, and children’s clothing departments. Miami Fashion Week’s Wedding Pavilion is an invaluable resource for brides-to-be, bridal buyers, or eager, early-planner types. General ticket prices start at $50 per show, whereas front row VIP treatment runs $500 a show and includes a backstage experience.
Funkshion Fashion Week Miami Beach
During the spring, bright, edgy patterns are in full bloom at Funkshion Fashion Week Miami Beach. This four-day event fuses music and fashion for one sizzling sartorial showcase. Funkshion’s tented exhibition runs parallel to, and only a few blocks from, Miami Fashion Week. Here, emerging designers receive unprecedented media exposure. Established labels like Chloé use the Funkshion platform to present their secondary collections, which tend to be more accessible and moderately priced. Music factors heavily into each runway presentation, as designers hand-select the DJ’s their models will walk to. Accompaniments often honor the artist’s origins -- Latin America, New York, Milan, or Paris. Funkshion Fashion Week Miami Beach puts the purchasing power in the public’s hands, as entry to the shows are free and items on display are made immediately available in stores.
The Summer Set
Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week
As summer kicks into high gear, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim forecasts scorching hot beach trends for the year to come. Legions of A-list personalities, supermodels, and “glossy” editors flock to the Raleigh Hotel for this high-profile style summit. This sub-tropical offshoot of New York’s Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week attracts household brands like BCBG Max Azria and Mara Hoffman as well as burgeoning collections looking to make their debut. Bronzed, toned models light up the Raleigh pool deck and surrounding tents with vibrant shades of aqua, pink, and orange. Beloved by Kim Kardashian, Chris Bosh, Whitney Port, and Christina Milian for its panache and elegance, this is undoubtedly the international swim fashion affair.
SwimShow & LingerieShow
Also in late July, industry professionals dive into a sea of lifestyle attire at the SwimShow & LingerieShow inside the Miami Beach Convention Center. While Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim showcases a few choice lines, this 400,000 square foot exhibition features over 2,500 retailers in the resort, swim, lifestyle, and intimate apparel categories. Accessory designers round out the beach-goer look with summery shades and sandals while Maidenform and other leaders in lingerie offer alluring options for when the sun goes down. There’s a high-end section reserved for pricier labels like Nanette Lepore and Oscar de la Renta but sporty mainstays like Roxy, Body Glove and Oakley are also in the mix.
Fall Into Fashion
Jewelers International Showcase
The Jewelers International Showcase is the largest tradeshow of its kind. At any of its three shows, around 4000 jewelry buyers flood the Miami Beach Convention Center. The October show boasts the largest vendor attendance with some 1,200 booths flaunting hundreds of blinding baubles. Almost half of the retailers represent 50 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. Unique to JIS, delivery is available right on the show floor, eliminating shipment time. Products usually hover in the mid-to-high price range, but competitively priced, everyday items are also on display.
Whimsical Winter Wear
On paper, it’s not a fashion event. But Art Basel makes a strong case for art’s influence on fashion and vice versa. Especially when luxurious labels – Chanel, Dior, Valentino – roll into Miami every December for this star-studded art fair and host extravagant themed parties that are harder to score tickets to than a White House affair. Famed fashion photographers like Terry Richardson and Bruce Weber mix-and-mingle with fans at book signings while fashion name brands like Net-a-Porter and Harper’s Bazaar offer attendees a rare, in-person shopping experience. Vogue, W, and Vanity Fair hijack the city’s galleries to host packed invite-only fetes, teaming with inventive Basel-goers – all vying for the attention of street style photographers with their outrageous street style. Where else would you see fashion superstars, Mickey Mouse shoes, graffiti and Prada sharing the spotlight at a single party?
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