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Right around this time last year, people were gearing up for the tenth installment of IMG Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim. The enthusiasm was in no short supply, and with good reason. More and more designers were showing, more and more people were paying attention, and the annual mid-July event seemed poised to ride the momentum to a whole other level of notoriety and extravagance.

Nike Roshe Run Flyknit Buy Now, Cut forward twelve months, and the conversation had shifted drastically. Mercedes-Benz ended its longtime sponsorship, and in early May, IMG sent out an announcement that it was postponing the newly rebranded SWIMWEEK until 2016, taking the extra time :to create a modern offering that better reflects the unique needs of its designers and partners.;?

The media cry immediately went up. Swim Week was canceled. No IMG, no go. ?

Nike Roshe Run Flyknit Buy Now Here・s the thing, though: That・s not the case. And it never really was.?

While the IMG-sponsored shows and events were among the highest-profile of the past decade・s festivities, and while IMG will doubtless prove an integral part of Swim Week moving forward, it・s never been the only player in the game.?

For one thing, there are the trade shows. SwimShow is the biggest of the bunchXthe biggest in the world, in fact. It・s the oldest, too, dating back to 1982. It draws multitudes of buyers each year, and as it grew over the last 30 years, an ecosystem began to grow around it, with newer trade shows like Cabana and Hammock now populating the landscape as well.?

Then there are the production companies like Funkshion, LDJ Productions, and SBI, all of which have been doing everything from assisting with trade show setup to throwing their own events and fashion shows for over a decade now (sometimes in collaboration with IMG, sometimes not). ?


Nike Roshe Run Flyknit Buy Now :The trade shows came in first,; explains Aleksandar Salé Stojanovic, President of Funkshion Fashion Week: Miami Beach. :And once the business was healthy, then designers were like .OK, now I have the money; I can spend more money.・ And that・s when they started doing these shows.; Funkshion launched its own shows back in 2003, even before IMG arrived on the scene a year later. Since then, there・s been a vital interplay between the many disparate elements that make up each annual Swim Week.?

:We・re all separate entities, but I feel like we all coexist together very well,; says Cabana・s Janet Wong, who started her show three years ago along with Project and Liberty Fairs impresario Sam Ben-Avraham. :One definitely goes hand in hand with the other. The trade shows are definitely the commerce component, the runway shows are the marketing component, and they・re both equally important.;

Luckily, some thoughtful scheduling has allowed for this peaceful coexistence. The trade shows, as the business-first component, take place during your usual nine-to-five. But the fashion shows wait to kick off until everyone is out of work mode (at least a bit), generally starting things at 6:00 p.m. or later.?

Nike Roshe Run Flyknit Buy Now :It・s that Miami Beach twist,; Stojanovic says. :Everything starts later. People are here more to have fun. You do the trade show during the day and that・s where serious business is happening, and then you go to these fashion shows at tents or hotels and that・s where you enjoy yourself.;?

It・s not just about cutting loose, though. :As a buyer,; says Wong, :I know that going to an appointment and seeing the garments is one thing, but when you see it on a runway sometimes you see it in a different light.; Stojanovic agrees: :These buyers get really excited about a brand at a fashion show and they can go in the next day to the trade show and place an order.;?

Of course, with IMG holding off on its shows at the Raleigh this year, that balance between showmanship and commerce seemed to be in peril. Not so. LDJ and SBI teamed up to create the new SWIMMIAMI, with shows at the W and the 1 Hotel South Beach. And Funkshion expanded its own long-running Funkshion Fashion Week: Miami Beach Swim to include five venuesXThe Setai, Soho Beach House, the SLS, the Thompson, and a tent on Collins Ave. As Stojanovic puts it, :We・re just doing what we・ve been doing for the last 12 years.; The show, it goes on.?

And as they look to next year and the years after, folks are confident that the momentum gained in the last decade-plus will continue apace. Wong cites the fact that her show has tripled in size since launch, without compromising its aesthetic. She credits this with the increased size and importance of resort collections, as well as the arrival of high-end designers like Minimale Animale and Orlebar Brown, who court a new audience of upscale buyers from Barneys, Bergdorf, and the like.?

Stojanovic also points out the influx of foreign designers. :More and more designers from all around the world are coming here. We never had this many designers from Hawaii, or Bali, or Australia. There are a lot of designers from EuropeXfrom Spain and ItalyXthat weren・t here before. I think it・s a really healthy progression of things, and as long as the business is good everything else is just the cherry on top.;


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And the fun loving, laid-back approach to things that・s come to be a hallmark of Swim Week? That・s not going anywhere either, despite its growth. :I think Swim Week is always going to be a little more relaxed. But at the same time, it・s going to grow and it・s going to be stronger,; says Wong. :I don・t think it・s going to get too serious,; she continues as she begins to laugh. :I hope not!;