Miami Swim Week Spring 2022 Roundup

After a one-year hiatus, the Miami Swim Week shows were back in full force. Fashion Reverie spent two days in sunny Miami viewing the latest swim and resort 2022 collections.  The shows were held at two principal venues, the Paraiso Tents and the Art Hearts Faena Forum, and at a sprinkling of luxury hotel properties near the Tents. Below, the four standout collections of the week.

Mar de Lua images courtesy of Max Flores/Click Magazine

Destination Columbia

Destination Columbia was a group of eight Columbian fashion designers who showed Thursday night at the Paraiso Tents. The brunch at the Ritz allowed for press and buyers to have a closer look at the swim and resort wear. Each of the eight designers had a carefully curated rack and was on hand to answer questions about their respective collection. The Columbian designers all embraced sustainability as an integral part of their creative process.

The designers Fashion Reverie spoke with, Naranja Furcado, Palmacea, Smeralda, and Mar de Lua, delivered luxurious sustainable swim and resort wear at reasonable pricing.  While all were noteworthy, Mar de Lua bears special mention. Designer Carolina Diazgranado was a teacher before founding her brand four years ago. She vowed to be sustainable from the start; at this point, she estimates the brand is 65% sustainable. The collection on display was titled, “Boho Blossom, Resort 2022.” The signature look was a summer blossom and animal print rendered in neon colors that Carolina said made her think of “forever summer days”. Best in show was the look that opened the Thursday night show, a vibrant yellow smocked 70s-style bandeau top with a modest, striped hipster bikini bottom, headscarf, and floral print floor-length caftan. The coverup’s long ruffled sleeves gave it a dressy quality. Carolina suggested adding some chunky gold jewelry and heels to transition the outfit from day to evening.

B FYNE images courtesy of Max Flores/Click Magazine

BFYNE Swimwear

The BFYNE Swimwear presented by Models of Color Matter [runway] show kicked-off with an inspirational video that explained designer Buki Ade’s journey back to her African roots as part of her creative process. The video cited the bright colors and textiles that are an integral part of African culture. Colors stayed in desert palette tones: ochre, earth brown, and the orange of the setting sun. There was a tiger-patterned flowing caftan and a bamboo-patterned skirt and top in a vibrant grass green. The simplicity of the solid-colored swimsuits paired well with the colorful pants, tops, and caftans.

Overall, ease and movement were key points; these are clothes and suits that accommodate all shapes and sizes of beauty. The only disconnect was that none of the vibrant prints in the video appeared in the show, but perhaps it served as a teaser for what is in store for Buki’s next collection.

Leimakani images courtesy of Max Flores/Click Magazine

Leimakani Hawaii

Twenty-three-year-old Kali’a Wasson is the creative talent behind Leimakani Hawaii. This Hawaiian native has already had her designs appear on the pages of Sports Illustrated Swim.  Kali’a debuted her latest collection at the Plymouth Hotel’s pool deck. One of her staple styles is the triangle bikini featuring native Hawaiian flowers. Of special note was the large red and pink rose print which is Hawaii’s state rose. The two-piece suits come with matching semi-opaque pareos that double as head scarves and palazzo pants. There are also caftans to match the suits, all at attractive price points, starting at $60 and topping out around $125.

Like many millennials, Kali’a is keen on size inclusivity. “We are a brand that stands firm in changing the narrative on the social standards of beauty and body image. We strive to make all women feel beautiful and confident.” There were the tiniest of Tarzan style string bikini bottoms as well as high waisted styles that provided more ample coverage. Kali’a is also taking steps to make her work a little more sustainable and is looking for a manufacturer who can help her achieve this goal.

HONEY Birdette WET images courtesy of Max Flores/Click Magazine

Honey Birdette WET

The Honey Birdette WET show was unquestionably the most anticipated event of this Miami Swim Week. This may have been partially due to it recently being acquired by Playboy (PLBY Group Inc.). Australian designer Eloise Monaghan began her brand in 2006 over a glass of champagne with a friend and currently has 60 physical stores, according to The Wall Street Journal. 

Business deal aside, Monaghan delivered the goods at her show. The promo postcards were slick and high gloss, right in line with the show’s theme. The advertising was reminiscent of Tom Ford’s salacious “F—g Fabulous” ads. 

She opened with the brand’s signature three-piece boudoir sets, in black, lime, magenta, and turquoise blue. The pieces fit the models as if they had been made specifically for each girl. HB is a luxury lingerie brand, after all, and retails for $170 for the teeniest bra and thong set to $310 for a pushup bra, garter belt and thong “Waspie” set.

Monaghan used her platform as a player in the luxury lingerie space to expand into the swim category. She called her capsule swim collection “Honey Birdette WET.” There were well-cut solid two pieces in punchy red and blue with peek-a-boo detailing on the bras and big Versace-style gold medallion closures that doubled as ornamentation on the bottoms and some of the tops. The most notable models were “RuPaul’s Drag Race” contestants drag Queens Violet Chachki, Naomi Smalls, and Aquaria aka Giovanni Palandrani, who closed the show in a “Sheena of the Jungle” asymmetrical leopard one-piece.

—Vivian Kelly

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