By  on July 8, 2010

Saying it’s “swim week in Miami” might sound like stating the obvious, but hundreds of brands and thousands of buyers are descending on sizzling South Beach for trade and runway shows next week.

Besides the mega SwimShow produced by the Swimwear Association of Florida, with 2,000 lines from 350 companies and 2,000 buyers expected, a new event, Salon Allure, will dock at the W South Beach hotel July 16 to 20.

Additionally, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim takes over the Raleigh July 15 to 19 with 26 lines for the runway.

All three main events seek to provide efficient venues for buyers, according to producers.

The new Salon Allure boutique show has confirmed 18 exhibitors for swimwear, fabrics, resortwear and lingerie, including Diesel’s collections for men and women; Invista’s Xtra Life Lycra; the U.S. debut of Ivana Sert, whose bling-heavy swimsuit made the “Sex and the City 2” wardrobe cut, and the launch of Charlie by Matthew Zink, a men’s and women’s line with Seventies references. Zink is a former designer of Victoria’s Secret swimwear and shoes.

“There was a small group of designers looking for a different way to communicate their brand message, so we designed our show to serve that niche,” said Salon Allure producer Rick Fatzinger.

After showing through SAF for seven years, Miami-based swimwear designer Red Carter weighed the risks of relocating to a new platform, but was sold on the opportunity for a change and spacious suites with breathtaking views.

“It feels natural to show my collection with the ocean in the background,” he said, hoping buyers also will find the setting worth the trip. Among his three collections is the Jessica Simpson line. “Traffic will certainly be a challenge, but once they see the view and have a cocktail, they won’t want to leave, and we’ll end up hosting parties every night.”

Carter reports his New York-based showroom Salon9 moved several of its other lines such as Martha Rey and Belusso from SAF to Salon Allure. The latter provides transportation to other swim events, along with daily happy hours and an opening-night reception and fashion show. Fatzinger said vendors further were attracted by flexible hours, hotel services and booths and hotel rooms in one.

At the same time, SwimShow 2011 hits the Miami Beach Convention Center. Registration continues to climb from previous years, and a floor redesign accommodates more vendors, according to SAF executive director Judy Stein. Children’s has boomed, but women’s is experiencing the largest increase, with this year’s event being the biggest yet for launching contemporary boutique lines.

Of the 80 first-time exhibitors — including the U.S. introduction of Turkish brand Zeki Triko — new swimwear divisions to the industry are Echo Design Group, Monique Leshman and Shoshanna Made With Love Charlotte Ronson. Florabella, a better resortwear and beach accessories firm in Dallas, expands into hand-embellished cover-ups in natural fabrics wholesaling from $40 to $90.

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