For the seventh year, thousands of fashion industry professionals and fans migrated to the sands of Miami Beach for one of the largest swimwear trade shows, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim. Miami Swim runs from July 14 through July 18.
This year, color and prints replaced last year's black and white. Designs were inspired by Aboriginal art and floral themes. There also was a large international presence of swimwear designers from Australia, Brazil, Canada, Columbia, France, and Peru.
"The swimwear industry is such a rapidly growing market worldwide and we are happy to provide a platform for designers to travel from across the world to show their collections,” said Christina Neault, executive producer of the event for IMG Fashion.
Some of the designers who presented their Spring 2012 collections, include Diesel, LUXE by Lisa Vogel, White Sands Australia, Poko Pano, Beach Bunny Swimwear, Crystal Jin, Norma Kamali Swimwear, Caffé Swimwear, Dolores Cortés, Mara Hoffman Swim, Aqua Di Lara, A.Ché, Red Carter, Cia.Marítima, Luli Fama, Lisa Blue, diNeila Brazil, A.Z Araujo, Aguaclara, Aquarella Swimwear, Kooey Swimwear Australia, Nicolita, and Sonia Vera Swimwear in three different venues.
In addition, a lingerie category was added to the show this year.
Click ahead to see the newest swimwear trends for 2012.
By Jessica Naziri
Posted 19 July 2011
Kristin Cavallari, star of MTV’s "The Hills" and "Laguna Beach," opened up Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim in Diesel’s show.
Cavallari strutted the runway in what the designers called “the world’s first glass bikini.” The denim giant said the bathing suit was inspired by SKYY Vodka’s iconic cobalt blue glass bottle.
The designer said its theme was a “tropical utopia,” but the suits in the collection had a variety of motifs.
Swimwear designer Lisa Burke, hosted her first solo fashion show in the U.S. at this year's Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim.
Burke said she drew inspiration from “a stunning Australian Aboriginal dot painting." The painting's artist, Rosie Miller, is from the Whale tribe (or Mirning tribe) in South Australia and is a strong supporter of Burke's Lisa Blue campaign, which aids marine life conservation.
The 2012 collection included three different tribal prints, ranging the earthy to a glamorous gold-flecked print.
Lisa Blue also used rich colors, such as metallic gold and silver panels on matt black, and smoky grey to showcase her theme of oceanic colors, “promising to evoke the desire to make a mad dash to the beach,” said designer Lisa Burke.
“My passion for the ocean dwellers is also the inspiration behind the galactic stories for the 2012 collection," she said.
"In mythology, it is said that the whales and the dolphins came from the stars, and their magic stems from other worlds. The galactic theme ties in which this mythology.”
Caffé Swimwear designer Paula Saavedra debuted her “Stylish Escape” line, which was dominated by a variety of blue hues.
Saavedra said she was inspired to create the designs while travelling in luxurious destinations. She thought about the clients who look to the resort season to take them off to exotic and sunny places, where they can relax with an easy elegance. "Resort season" refers to clothes that are sold between the fall and spring fashion collections.
The collection is all about “a first-class journey, fun and full of emotions…laid-back luxury that is very sophisticated, yet wearable, " said Saaverda, a native of Colombia.
This was the second time Spain’s Dolores Cortes showcased her swimwear collection at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim.
This year's collection was based on paintings by Henri Rousseau, who is known for his jungle scenes.
A model walks the runway during the Aqua Di Lara show at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week.
Aqua Di Lara designer Reyhan Sofraci said, “Our inspirations come from textures and a kaleidoscope of prints—optical illusion prints to novelty solids to layered textured fabrics.”
Designer Paola Robba, of Poko Pano, presented her Spring/Summer 2012 collection, which was inspired by Brazil and its traditional colors, symbols, plant and wildlife.
The 40-piece collection of swimwear and beach apparel “is inspired by a timeless theme of the Amazon’s natural surroundings,” he said.
On the runway, there was an array of bikinis, kaftans, minidresses, shirts, skirts, and pantaloon pants with a color palette that mirrored the Amazon in varying shades of yellow, brown, red, green, and turquoise.
Paola Robba's Poko Pano collection features exotic prints influenced by the flowers in the Amazon, such as bromeliad, giant water lily, and tropical fruits, such as guarana, buriti, and pineapple.
The brand is known for its use of macramé texture, a traditional handicraft by Amazon natives. It also incorporated ornaments made from handmade metals and elements of Brazilian handiwork, including embroidery and needlepoint blended with other local raw materials.
“Each suit is modern and minimalist and designed with exclusive, high-tech fabrics to provide durability and comfort,” according to a Poko Pano spokesperson.
“Paola pays homage to the region’s nearly extinct animal life by incorporating the multicolored plume of feathers found on Arara birds, the velvety coats of a jaguar and vibrant scales of river species,” a spokesperson said.
A model wears a suit from Mara Hoffman's latest collection. Hoffman is a New York City-based designer known for her colorful, bohemian ready-to-wear and swimwear. This was her third consecutive year showing on the runway.
Mara Hoffman's collection consisted of bold and colorful original prints. It is clear that Hoffman draws inspiration from her travels around the world.
“Starting with explorations of Egyptian ruins and a mystical Sarcophagus, she explores street bazaars, where bright colors pop from the stands in the dust. Continuing on to Mexico, she further explores her tribal roots,” a spokesperson said.
This season, the Mara Hoffman Swim line is expanding to include several ready-to-wear pieces, bringing together elements of her two previously separate collections.
LUXE by Lisa Vogel is known for its design and functionality.
“Luxurious fabrics, gorgeous detailing and contemporary color palettes form a unique collection that can be converted to fit and flatter any woman,” a spokesperson said.
Inspired by Vogel's “love for interior design,” the collection was influenced by the '70s. The theme translates into flirty and bohemian designs, with free-flowing shapes, hand-braided detail, multi-colored prints, and feather accents.
Beach Bunny Swimwear, designed by Angela Chittenden, debuted its bridal swimwear line at the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim show in Miami.
The collection included an array of swimwear and cover-ups adorned in hand-beaded pearls, delicate Chantilly lace imported from France, and Swarovski crystals, aimed at capturing "the femininity, edge and grace of the modern bride,” a spokesperson said.
In addition to the bridal line, the Beach Bunny showed its cruise line, which was “inspired by the 1930s showgirl,” a spokesperson for the company said.
The suits featired brightly colored sequins, nautical stripes, black lace, animal prints, and polka dots.
A model walks the runway during the Aguaclara show at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim.
"Our line is always inspired in the exuberant Peruvian Amazon jungle, the majestic Andes and the Pacific Ocean. Peru is our main inspiration,” a spokesperson for the line said.
Jennifer Stano founded Have Faith Swimwear with husband, Alki David, in 2010 in Beverly Hills, Calif.
Stano said her 2012 collection is designed with a few of her favorite travel destinations—Greece, Las Vegas, St. Tropez, and the desert—in mind.
“My husband and I travel so much during the year that my travels are what have inspired not only this year’s collections, but also the direction of the line,” Stano said.