Miami News: Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Swim
The fashion community knows that the most prestigious of the dozens of international fashion weeks, are the one’s sponsored by Mercedes-Benz. In New York, the iconic tents at Lincoln Center go up twice a year and here in Miami, once a year during late July the white tents are up for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim at The Raleigh Hotel. Against the backdrop of a historic deco hotel and those classic white tents, models saunter down a runway with sand on both sides and show of what swimsuit style will look like for the next year.
It’s only natural that Miami, a place with summer all year around, would be the ideal choice for the swimsuit industry’s biggest event of the year. All the major labels come out to play and young up-and-coming designers vie for a spot to get their suits into the eyes of the fashion elite. Nearly fifty designers show off their latest and greatest in the Mercedes-Benz tents alone. Across the city dozens of designers participate in satellite events that are organized by independent organizations.
Some of the biggest names in fashion show their swim collections during Swim Week. One year, Chanel put together a crew of synchronized swimmers and Chloe has started regularly showing on a runway atop the pool of the hyper-exclusive Soho Beach House.
Like any fashion event, it’s just as much about the parties and sponsorships, the red carpet and the street style as it is the main event. Miami Beach’s club, venues and hip eateries are packed with the jet-set crew of models, editors, photographers, writers and designers.
At The Raleigh and Under The Tents
At The Raleigh the scene is a familiar one for the international fashion set: the champagne flows, well-dressed show-goers sit and chat about the latest industry gossip, photographers snap pictures of the very best dressed. The Raleigh’s stunning art deco pool, a graphic, unusually shaped design is the centerpiece. There are a few tents set up and they vary in size and design. One tent has beach sand along the sides, over at the main tent; all eyes are on the prestigious front row.
Designers with cult-followings like Mara Hoffman, Roxy Pop Surf, Suboo, Wildfox Swim and more take to the tents and show off what the swim scene will look like for the next year.
Luckily, The Raleigh offers a restaurant by local-celebrity chef and James Beard award winner Michael Schwartz. Even with dozens of models walking around in bikinis, everyone can work up an appetite. Stop into Restaurant Michael Schwartz for refreshing dishes.
Almost everything that goes on at The Raleigh is by invitation only, but if you just want to check out the scene, the lobby and surrounding pool area are open to the public, as is the restaurant. Luckily, there are some events that are open to the public that take place elsewhere.
Fashion parties and events are notoriously exclusive, but there are some events that you’re invited to whether or not you have VIP status in the fashion world.
Every year the parties change and the locations are never the same, so you’ll have to do some research, but there have been some pretty spectacular, and free, events open to the public in the past. At Sagamore Hotel, they had free makeup by Bobbi Brown and a pool party complete with snow cones. SLS South Beach has hosted the Peroni Emerging Designer Series, a showcase of young designers that was open to the public. The Freehand Miami, a hip hostel, has a pool and a great bar that are always open to the public and they have been known to host a pretty awesome, and totally free party for Swim Week. The Standard Miami’s always cool pool deck hosted some very fabulous events for young designers that were open to the public.
Late night, the chicest bars and clubs around the city are packed with the best DJs who have flown in for parties hosted by cool brands and packed with swimsuit models.
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