SwimShow, the largest swimwear trade show in the industry, has been canceled. The exhibition was scheduled for July 11 to 14 at the Miami Beach Convention Center during Miami Swim Week.
The show, which generally features around 400 exhibitors and more than 2,500 lines, attracts better than 7,500 buyers from designer boutiques, resort shops, specialty stores, surf shops, department stores and mass merchants.
Judy Stein, executive director of the Swimwear Association, said the decision to cancel was made with the safety of the show’s exhibitors and visitors top of mind.
“Canceling the SwimShow was an incredibly difficult decision,” Stein said. “The SwimShow is recognized as the most important swimwear trade show in the industry and the premiere resource for buyers from all swimwear categories. This global trade show includes buyers, manufacturers, designers, corporate personnel, press, influencers, bloggers, fashion consultants, stylists and other fashion industry leaders, so not producing a trade show to fill all those needs is quite significant,” she said.
“For the health, safety and well-being of everyone involved, from the retailer and manufacturing community to all the rest of the necessary personnel involved in the production of this trade show, this was something that we were not willing to risk,” she said.
The SwimShow occupies more than 250,000 square feet of exhibit space. Asked whether other trade shows that are built around the SwimShow and take place during Miami Swim Week would also be canceled, Stein said, “I would imagine that all the other events that take place alongside SwimShow, which is the catalyst event for SwimWeek, would also be canceled.”
DestinationMiami, which is produced by Coterie, has also canceled its July swimwear event and has rescheduled it for Sept. 22 to 24 alongside Coterie in New York, according to Colleen Sherin, president of Coterie. It will go under the name Destination.
“With regards to health and safety, we decided to do the same. It seemed like the sensible thing to do at this time, and we hope to be back in Miami when it’s safe to do so,” she said. Generally DestinationMiami takes place at the Faena Bazaa with about 60 brands. This would have been the third edition in Miami.
Meantime, SwimShow would have celebrated its 38th annual edition this summer. Stein said there was a possibility that the SwimShow could occur in October, but it could never replace the July show. “We are looking into other dates to see if there are any other possibilities,” she said. Asked if she would consider doing a virtual event, Stein said, “There will never be a substitute for the actual live engagement that takes place during SwimShow. Manufacturers and designers along with retailers meeting one on one; viewing and touching the new collections for the first time; not to mention discussing B2B plans for the upcoming season are all such necessary components of a trade show. With that said, we are definitely exploring all options with this type of platform.”
Stein noted that there’s an entire swim circuit where exhibitors travel from city to city. “[But] I think that everyone is in a holding pattern right now to see what transpires within the next couple of months.”
Started by a small group of sales representatives back in 1982, the SwimShow has grown over the years in size and clout. “We had a lot of fun, interesting activations in the planning stages that we will happily execute at the nextSwimShow,” Stein said.
Officials couldn’t be reached for comment on the status of the Cabana show, which is slated to take place July 11-13 at the Miami Beach Convention Center, nor Hammock, which is scheduled to take place at One Hotel South Beach in Miami at that time.