By  on June 19, 2008

Diesel will kick off IMG's Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim with an opening-night fashion show and after party July 17 at the Raleigh Hotel in South Beach, Fla.

The Italian fashion brand will preview spring-summer 2009 swimwear, and will show select fall-winter apparel and accessories from its South Beach store on Washington Avenue.

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim will run to July 21, with 16 designers presenting nightly fashion shows in poolside tents at the Raleigh.

Diesel is showing at IMG's event for the first time. "Miami is one of my favorite cities in the world," said Diesel president and founder Renzo Rosso. "I've always been drawn to South Beach's vibrant energy and cultural richness."

Illustrating the increasing cross-pollination between fashion and swimwear, the show's designer lineup includes sportswear and ready-to-wear lines that have launched swimwear collections, such as Custo Barcelona, Tommy Bahama, Ed Hardy and Tibi, as extensions of the brand.

"We have a good cross section of the big brands; international lines like Australia's Zimmerman and Brazil's Poco Pano; local favorites such as Miami's Red Carter, and Pistol Panties, a line that has a celebrity following," said Fern Mallis, senior vice president of IMG Fashion.

Mallis said attendance totaled 10,000 last year, including 500 registered media. The show targets buyers in town for SwimShow 2009, the trade show that runs July 19 to 22 at the Miami Convention Center.

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