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New Styles Sizzle as US Swimwear Grows

Thursday, 26 Jul 2012 | 10:55 AM ET

Some like it hot — especially women’s swimwear designers.

A model walks the runway during Mara Hoffman- Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim 2013 show at Raleigh Hotel on July 21, 2012 in Miami Beach, Florida.
Arun Nevader | WireImage | Getty Images
A model walks the runway during Mara Hoffman- Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim 2013 show at Raleigh Hotel on July 21, 2012 in Miami Beach, Florida.

For the eighth year, thousands of fashion industry pros and onlookers migrated to Miami Beach to check out the latest in barely there attire during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim. The show, which is one of the largest swimwear trade shows, ran from July 19 to July 23.

Although the bathing suits may be skimpy, the stakes are not. Women’s swimwear sales are projected to grow to $2.9 billion this year while total U.S. swimwear sales are expected to hit $4.2 billion, according to forecasts from market research firm NPD Group.

“For designers, group shows offer turn-key production and public relations elements,” said Christina Neault, executive producer of IMG Fashion. “For buyers and media in attendance, it allows them to see three or four designers within one show.”

This year, color continued to dominate the runway as models strutted down the catwalk in intricate patterns, coordinating pastels and animal prints. Designers also put a new spin on the traditional one-piece suit with cut-out designs and silhouettes reminiscent of past decades.

The show’s popularity grew this season as the number of designers showing their Spring 2013 collections hit an all-time high with more than 30 present. The list included Lisa Blue, Luli Fama, Mara Hoffman Swim and BCBGMaxAzriaGroup.

Click here to see highlights from this year’s event.

Questions? Comments? Email us at consumernation@cnbc.com. Follow Katie Little on Twitter @katie_little_.

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