With Miami’s swim market less than three months away, IMG said it plans to take the year off from hosting fashion shows at The Raleigh hotel. The news came as a surprise, since IMG stated its commitment to the event after its 10th anniversary last year. The abrupt decision had nothing to do with the Raleigh’s sale to Tommy Hilfiger, according to an IMG spokesman, who said the company wants to revamp its Miami presence in conjunction with its operations during New York Fashion Week. He added it will come back bigger and improved next year, tapping into the creative expertise of WME, IMG’s new owners.
In the meantime, brands are scrambling for alternate venues, and IMG is working with them to find temporary homes. New York-based SBI, which has offices in Miami and is a longtime collaborator with IMG during Miami swim week, plans to release a multivenue solution next week. Funkshion, a Miami event producer, is also scouting for a locale to erect a tent. Sized 25 percent larger than IMG’s main tent, Funkshion Fashion Week Miami Beach Swim enables 500 attendees to view two to three brands each night for five days.
“Even before IMG pulled out, we had sold out of fashion show slots at our four hotel venues, including Soho Beach House, SLS, The Setai and Thompson Miami Beach,” said Funkshion founder Salé Stojanovic.
The trade shows will go on as planned: SwimShow, July 18-21; Cabana, July 18-20; Hammock, formerly Salon Allure, July 18-20.