Casting models, putting together “looks,” choosing music, arranging hair and makeup: Swimwear designer Monica Wise is in a whirlwind, preparing for the biggest week of her career.
She’s launching two new lines to complement her L*SPACE collection, and as an added touch for the debut, she’s having models strutting the runway with bodies painted in metallic gold.
Wise, creative director of Irvine, Calif.-based L*SPACE, is among the scores of designers headed to South Beach this week to unveil their latest collections at Swim Week, the annual extravaganza that harkens the start of the next resortwear season.
“Its going to be huge — it’s bigger than ever, with a lot of celebrities coming to town,” said Wise, who has shown her collections here every year since she started her company in 2000. “We have a packed house — all pre-booked seating for a lot of editors and bloggers who really drive the social media, and we also have key retailers who will be sitting front row.”
Swim Week brings the sexy, unabashed world of swimwear to Miami Beach through Tuesday, with a full spectrum of trade and fashion shows and poolside soirees — luring designers, retailers, models, fashion show producers and international press to South Florida, all to feast their eyes on the latest designs.
And this year, it promises to be hotter than ever, with a growing roster of swimwear and accessories designers, more fashion shows and plenty of parties.
“It’s electric,” Wise said. “There’s nothing like it. This is like the Emmys for me.”
Show organizers have had to turn designers away, while several additional hotels — like Soho Beach House — and stores — like the Webster — are serving as venues to show collections.
Among the expected trends this year: more one-pieces and high-waisted suits or “midkinis,” lots of flowery and animal prints, crochet and macramé, plus new children’s lines.
It’s all to jump-start sales in an industry that apparently knows no bounds.
Overall, the U.S. swimwear market raked in almost $4.2 billion for the 12 months ended in May — a 5 percent increase over the previous year, according to the NPD Group, based in Port Washington, N.Y.
SwimShow, the cornerstone trade show of Swim Week and the catalyst for global resortwear sales, is celebrating its 30th year. This year, it sold out faster than ever, and has more designers — upwards of 2,500 lines — including 100 new ones, from nearly 400 companies, said Judy Stein, executive director of the Swimwear Association of Florida, which puts on SwimShow.
Among the best known brands: Gottex, Vitamin A, L*SPACE, Tori Praver and Trina Turk.
Designers hail from around the globe, including from Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Italy, France, Spain and Monaco, Stein said.
“We help launch brands,” she said. “They come here, they’ve got stars in their eyes and they are all excited, and we provide the venue for them to be able to exhibit.”
For the second year, SwimShow will offer a sister LingerieShow. Both shows run Saturday through Tuesday at the Miami Beach Convention Center.
“It’s just an additional element to make it simpler for those retailers that carry both products to find it here,” Stein said.