News & Runway

2012 Miami Fashion Week Swim: The Scene

At the Dream South Beach; A lustable bag at Mara Hoffman (right)

It goes without saying that Miami Fashion Week Swim is a lot more laid back than New York Fashion Week, but that doesn’t mean the city isn’t buzzing. Promotional signs announcing Mercedes Benz Fashion Week, which took place this past weekend from July 14 to July 17, were spread around South Beach in the same way as they are in New York City, and most of the major hotels host events, retreats, and rent out suites to designers looking to show off their new collections. However, unlike New York, Swim Week’s runway shows don’t begin until late afternoon and they run until about midnight. So forget setting your alarm for 6 a.m., odds are that time is closer to when you’ll be getting home!

A "Skyy Vodka girl" inside the Miami Fashion Week tent; Cocktail party at The Webster (right)

In general, Miami denizens operate on a late schedule – 10 p.m. dinner reservations seem to be a prime time, for example — and an open bar was a central focus during most of the pre-show action, so the set-up was fitting. All the major swim runway shows took place in a white tent set up next to the Raleigh Hotel, while shopping Mecca, The Webster, hosted a cocktail party to show off some designer wares, and Salon Allure took place at the W South Beach for the second year in a row. (Salon Allure is to Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Swim as Design Miami is to Art Basel.) A slew of brands including both the established and the up-and-coming showed their new designs in suites spread across an entire floor of the hotel.

The events are just as important to Swim Week as the actual shows and presentations. Things kicked off at The Raleigh Hotel with the official party hosted by Skyy Vodka, the liquor sponsor for Mercedes Benz Fashion Week who wisely outfitted some of their svelte staff in sexy blue Diesel-designed swimsuits. Also on July 14 was Ocean Drive’s cover party. The Miami equivalent to Gotham magazine feted their cover star Chrissy Teigen with informal modeling featuring Zoe NYC and Beach Bunny Swimwear – over cocktails, naturally – at the W South beach.

The Skintimate-sponsored Mara Hoffman after-party at the W South Beach;

Whitney Port and Shenae Grimes (right)

The days following the kick-off each came with their own set of back-to-back events, the most notable of which included the Mara Hoffman after-party/celebration of Hoffman’s Limited Edition Skintimate Cans (officially launched during the Fall 2012 shows in New York City). Recently single Whitney Port arrived with just one girlfriend, but her group quickly multiplied, while 90210's Shenae Grimes came with her new boyfriend, DJ Brendan Fallis. Celebrities aside, I have to say my favorite thing about the event was seeing oversized Skintimate Cans (I’m talking at least six feet) next to a sorbet cart. Who knew shaving cream and frozen treats were a winning combination?

Rounding out the four days of events was the opening party of the Dream South Beach. One of the most buzzed about events of the week, it included Grey Goose pops, a DJ set by Andrew and Andrew, and swimwear-clad servers giving out lollipops… only in Miami!

Read our reviews of the shows including Mara Hoffman and L*Space