Out of all the Fashion Week, Miami Swim Week is—by far—one of the most fun to attend. It's essentially one giant party, both on and off the runways, and way more carefree and inviting than, let's say, NYFW. (I mean, if you've ever found yourself in South Beach, you get it.)
Paraiso Miami Beach, which just took place this past weekend, has become one of the leading platforms participating in Swim Week, creating an immersive experience around it that goes well beyond just being a showcase of swimwear. On top of all of the bikinis and one-pieces (and the resort wear to go with it) from global designers—spanning Colombia to Australia to, of course, Miami—there are also shoppable pop-ups throughout the weekend, and there were panels discussing sustainability, and diversity within the industry. Plus, there are tons of really good parties.
But back to the runway shows! This year's runways boasted the most size-inclusive and diverse overall casting than we've seen, with many more sustainable designers showcasing. Below, we rounded up the nine collections from Paraiso we think you'll want to know. Cannonball!
Kicking off with a performance by the Miami City Ballet School, sustainable swimwear label Natasha Tonic's Resort 2020 collection was showcased on a mix of models and ballerinas.
The hemp-based line featured a mix of minimalist one-piece and two-piece swimsuits, long-sleeved bodysuits, bike shorts, and more that doubled as swim and athletic wear (in addition to a smattering of resort wear, such as coverups and jumpsuits). All were seen in a mix of solid neutrals and prints such as tie-dye (including a swoon-worthy neon green iteration) and a pot leaf print, proving that hemp, and other sustainable materials, have come a long way from the earthy-crunchy reputations they once had.
Representation is hard to come by in fashion, especially in swimwear, which is why we applaud Monday Swimwear founders, Natasha Oakley and Devin Brugman, for not only making body positivity and diversity a part of their brand but making sure that the ethos is translated onto the runways of Swim Week. The see-now, buy-now Summer 2019 collection included a refreshing array of simple swimwear in flattering silhouettes, billowing blouses, and breezy sarongs in a mix of neutral shades with pops of lavender, yellow, sangria red, and leopard. Of course, the inclusive offering was showcased on models of all sizes, including a pregnant one.
Miami-based label Simonett (formerly known as Style Mafia) may not have a collection of swimwear, but its trend-focused assortment of ready-to-wear and accessories make it the perfect fit for Paraiso. This year, founder Simonett Pereira decided to showcase an all-white collection in a dreamscape setting, bringing in some of her best current Spring/Summer 2019 pieces along with a sneak peek at what's to come from Pre-Fall 2019, including a minimalist silk slip with bejeweled shell detailing, a breezy linen jumpsuit, and plenty of structured dresses and separates in sheer tulle, lace, and cotton.
The Upcycle Challenge
While maybe not comprised of collections that will be available for the public to purchase, The UpCycle Challenge was a crucial component of Paraiso, and Swim Week as a whole, to showcase the potential that upcycling has within the swimwear industry.
The UpCycle Project teamed up with Paraiso to host a competition between design students from around the U.S. to create two-piece collections from upcycled leftover textiles from major swimwear labels such as Vitamin A, Cynthia Rowley, and more. Each student was matched with a brand and a mentor to help them create the pieces they submitted to participate in the challenge, who were then judged by a team of fashion professionals, from editors to sustainability specialists. The winner? Hannah Myers, a student from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City, who designed looks with sponsored leftover fabric from Cynthia Rowley.
Longtime Swim Week favorite Acacia debuted its Resort 2020 collection, and, well, this one was extra special. Founder Naomi Acacia Newirth has always pushed her brand toward using the most sustainable practices (both in terms of environmental and social responsibility), and this collection is Newirth's most sustainable collection to date.
The brand presented an assortment of inclusive swimwear and rash guards in solids and surfer-chic prints in both feminine and sporty silhouettes. Resort 2020 also included an elevated collection of resort ready-to-wear, including breezy two-piece sets, slip dresses, and oversized jumpsuits.
It's no secret that Australia is the home of some of the best swimwear in the world, as well as some of the most sustainable. This year, Paraiso teamed up with Fashion Palette to bring eight Aussie labels to Miami and present their Spring 2020 swimwear collections, including VDM Swim, Lil and Em, Sage Swim, and the soon-to-launch Sonya Swim. What can we expect to come from the world of Aussie swimwear? Plenty of animal prints, vibrant neons, and unconventional (but chic) silhouettes.
Another one of our favorite labels when it comes to a good, tropics-inspired print, Brazilian label Sinesia Karol showcased both its Spring Summer and Resort 2020 collections this year. This time around, the collections were inspired by the heavenly beaches of Italy's Isle of Capri, drawing inspiration from its vibrant blue seas and natural landscapes, as well as the town's bustling, buzzing streets. Orange, pink, and blue were the colors of choice for both seasons, seen as pastel tropical prints, color-blocked solids, and poppy florals.
If you follow Swim Week, then you know that the Maaji show is always a party, and always the show you don't want to miss. This year, the Colombian brand debuted its Spring/Summer 2020 collection Thalassophile, meaning "lover of the sea." The brand paired its mix of tropical-printed and color-blocked swim and sportswear with its ever-loud and in-your-face resort wear, from sequin-embroidered denim to tulle-adorned skirts, netted capes, and more. And, well, let's just say we've also never been more inspired to bring our Docs to the beach.
If there's one label that consistently has us dreaming of a tropical vacation somewhere far, far away, it's Colombia's Agua Bendita. This year, its Cruise 2020 collection was inspired by the beauty of Colombian tropical rainforests and the intersection between the sea and jungle. The collection consisted of mixed and matched exotic prints and solids, and paired one-piece and two-piece suits with the brand's breezy resort ready-to-wear and accented with breathtaking headpieces and jewelry.