Swimwear continues to be a bright spot at retail.
This story first appeared in the July 13, 2016 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
According to The NPD Group, U.S. sales of adult swimwear edged up in the 12 months ended May 2016 to $4.6 billion — and women’s has been driving the growth.
This upward trajectory will be reflected during Miami Swim Week, which takes place from July 13 to 19, and, despite IMG ending its partnership with the event last year, continues to get more robust, with brands launching swim lines or growing their swim assortments, as organizers add venues to accommodate the burgeoning market.
“We’ve seen [significant] growth in the swimwear industry over the past few years,” said Judy Stein, executive director of SwimShow, which will take place at the Miami Convention Center and feature more than 2,500 brands this year roughly. There are about 100 new exhibitors at SwimShow every season. Lines making their debuts at the SwimShow include Nicole Miller, Rachel Roy, Parker Beach and Heidi Klum, who is expanding her intimate-apparel partnership with Bendon to include swim.
Paul Cherny, chief executive officer of Bendon, told WWD the model’s new namesake collection will feature silhouettes ranging from plunging one-pieces decorated with hardware to classic string bikinis in saturated primary colors or covered with ethnic and geometric digital prints.
Tommy Bahama has done well with prints and will preview its cruise collection at SwimShow. According to Suzanne Bryant, vice president of women’s design, the swim business has been strong this spring and its Paisley Terrace line, a collection of paisley-print swimwear in stores now, is its best-selling collection to date.
Tommy Bahama is also introducing cup constructions that focus on support and coverage and versatile pieces that can be mixed and matched, including reversible styles and new rash guards. Other items trending for the brand include one-piece styles, high-waisted bottoms and cover-ups, which Bryant said is a growing category for the brand.
Shoshanna Gruss, founder and creative director of Shoshanna, is showing an expanded collection of cover-ups at SwimShow and launching a boys’ line. Gruss said one-piece suits and one-pieces with cutouts were bestsellers throughout the year.
Gottex will mark its 60th anniversary at this year’s SwimShow, where it will launch Profile Sport by Gottex, an ath-leisure swim collection featuring UV protection rash guards, cropped tops, scuba-inspired silhouettes and a Jewel Box Collection that includes swimwear embellished with pearls, Swarovski crystals and sequins.
Hammock, the trade show formerly known as Salon Allure and now in its seventh year, has teamed with SwimMiami, which was formed last year by event-production company LDJ after IMG ended its involvement with Miami Swim Week. Located at the W South Beach hotel, Hammock will feature 80 brands during the day, and runway shows will take place from 7 to 10:30 p.m. each evening, across two venues — a runway over the pool and a smaller, tented venue at the hotel.
Funkshion Productions, another production company, has expanded its tent to include two runway venues. Organizers are also working with The Setai and Nautilus Hotel on fashion shows from brands such as Kai Lani, Kyobe, Luli Fama and For Love and Lemons.
The Cabana trade show will highlight almost 200 exhibitors, and 50 of them — including Jonathan Simkhai, Dion Lee, Alix, Evarae and Fleur du Mal — are either launching swimwear or participating with the show for the first time.
Fleur du Mal, an intimate-apparel brand founded by Jennifer Zuccarini, recently expanded into swim and will introduce her second swim collection at Cabana. Zuccarini said this season the brand expanded its collection of cover-ups that can take swimsuits from day to evening, and will also show a line of bodysuits. According to Zuccarini, one-pieces with interesting cutouts, high-waisted bottoms and high-cut legs have done well for the brand.