Whether actively involved with water sports or inspired by the trending beach and surf culture worldwide, designers of these hip brands offer a fresh spin to their assortments with signature prints, bold splashes of color and specialty fabrics. Among the new offerings are figure-flattering Neoprene or lightweight microfiber blends of elastane with nylon and polyamide, as well as tops and cover-ups that can be worn on the beach, to a poolside party or on the club circuit. RELATED STORY: Miami Swim Week at a Glance >>
Here, a look at designer brands to keep an eye on for cruise and spring.
CYNTHIA ROWLEY: SURF’S UP
Many people might think of ready-to-wear designer Cynthia Rowley as being happiest wearing one of her trendy dress designs — not a Neoprene wet suit.
But Rowley is a fierce water sports enthusiast, and she says she would rather be surfing, stand-up boarding, snorkeling or swimming any day of the week in one of her sporty swimsuits or printed wet suits.
Rowley’s passion for water sports is translated into her swimwear designs, which have been created in-house since 2012. She says she got into the swim business after she couldn’t find a wet suit that was functional and stylish.
“Being such a water sports person, I hated he idea of wearing ugly wet suits…so I thought it would be great if I designed crazy, killer wet suits that are printed in Italy and sent to Asia to be made with welded seams,” said Rowley.
“I think it’s important for fashion brands to stay relevant, and for me, swimwear is part of my brand identity, and that’s very important. Fitness, health, sun and surf are all part of me and my brand ID. It underscores the importance of a healthy lifestyle.”
The designer further noted that her company has developed a “breathable and bonded” Neoprene fabric that will eventually be used in other categories.
“I’ve been using it in the rtw collection for a couple of years,” quipped Rowley.
Cynthia Rowley swimwear will be exhibited at SwimShow for the first time.
Suggested retail will average $225 for bikinis, $235 for one-piece suits, $195 for rash guards and $210 to $350 for wet suits.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast