Sink or Swim: An Access Guide to Miami Swim Week Events & Fashions
By Paul Rubio
In the fashion world, spring and fall revolve around the hottest trends on the runways of New York, London, Paris, and Milan.
Summer is a different story.
Come July, all eyes shift to South Florida for the annual Miami Swim Week, an international event underscoring Miami’s status as a new fashion capital. And in true Magic City spirit, our version of runway couture shows off a bit more… well… panache.
As this weeklong event has grown into a must-see global affair, production companies have banded together to present designers in fresh, tropical formats and settings (plus numerous series previously exclusive to the fashion industry have transitioned to be accessible to consumers).
Here, a launch pad for joining the action at this year’s Miami Swim Week and where to find the best beach wear in Miami year-round.
KRELwear Luau at Freehand
Local knits brand KRELwear introduces its latest collection of hand-loomed resort clothing inspired by retro Hawaiian pop culture. One-off and limited edition pieces are staged throughout the Freehand Miami to the sounds of house beats and the tastes of artisanal cocktails. If the scene in the lobby gets to be a bit much, pop into the “Stitch ‘n Bitch” knitting workshop with KRELwear designer herself, Karelle Levy.
DIVE SWIM WEEK: Tankovitz Runway Show
Miami-based designer Andrea Tankovitz—whose custom gowns and garments have swept the red carpets of the Golden Globes and Latin Billboards—premieres her DUNAMIS swim/resort line with an over-the-top spectacle on Lincoln Road, transforming the iconic retail promenade into one grand runway.
Friday, July 21, 9:00pm
Lincoln Road, West End
Open and complimentary to the public
Photo: Andrea Tankovitz
SWIMMIAMI: KAOHS Swim Runway Show
Los Angeles-based KAOHS Swim—a brand synonymous with the beach bods of the Kardashian sisters—returns to showcase its latest collection from SWIMMIAMI’s famed floating runway. Definitely hit up your Miami connections for this invitation-only event (or send a request to the email below), which was one of last year’s most buzzed-about showcases (‘It’ girl Rocky Barnes and The Bachelor’s Becca Tilley were spotted at last year’s show.)
Descalzo Lingerie and Swim Show
Descalzo hosts an entire evening of swim and boudoir style with back-to-back runway presentations. Designers skew emerging Florida and New York talent and include Anya Bikini, Blue Coral, Koko D. Swimwear, KK Swimwear, and Eido Swimwear. Style expert and on-air TV personality Dawn Del Russo provides her insight and entertainment between showcases.
Saturday, July 22, 6:00 – 10:00pm
Shelborne South Beach
Tickets range $45 – $85
Miami Swim Week may only be a seven-day affair, but the sun shines year-round on our paradise—as do some fabulous shops where you can snag the aforementioned designer brands and more.
Nic del Mar
For access to all things swim and resort wear in one place, this is the go-to boutique. Sophisticated and sultry styles include ruffled one-pieces by Zimmermann, exotic crochet-edged bikinis by KIINI, transformative cover-ups to dresses by Alice McCall, and cutout stunners by ALIX. Need some swim fashion advice? Sister/co-owner duo Jeannette and Lyanne are pros at styling and pulling knockout options on their shoppers’ behalf.
Photo: Nic del Mar
The swimwear selection may be comparatively smaller at this full-wardrobe and accessories boutique, but you can expect to uncover strong editorial-like pieces from Stone Cold Fox, Boys and Arrows, and name doppelgänger Frankies Bikinis. The fashionably adventurous will also appreciate other unique wears from brands not widely known—yet—such as Ellejay, JYORK, and Clube Bossa.
Photo: Frankie Miami
This is the third U.S. outpost of the London-based men’s swimwear brand; and true to its British roots, pieces are distinguished, yet insert a bit of quirk with bold solids, perky patterns, and 360-degree imagery from famed photographers, illustrators, and graphic designers. Our pick: Slim Aarons’ iconic 1969 “Hotel du Cap Eden-Roc” photograph. “Design Your Own” services are also readily available to transfer personal images.
The Boutique at Acqualina Spa by ESPA
Curated by buyer Amanda Gutierrez, the recently opened boutique at Acqualina Spa by ESPA features a vibrant selection of clothing and accessories sourced from designers around the world, along with luxurious ESPA products. The sophisticated traveler can indulge in laidback beachwear, signature sunglasses, and handmade panama hats from the likes of Artesano whilst enjoying the oceanfront ambiance and scents of rose geranium and palmarosa.
17875 Collins Ave, Sunny Isles Beach
Featured photo courtesy of: KRELwear
About the Contributor
Travel journalist Paul Rubio is a Miami native who has lived in nine countries and traveled to 110 (and counting). Rubio’s writing appears in Condé Nast Traveler, LUXURY, Robb Report, Private Clubs, and ultratravel.