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While fashion shows took place at the Raleigh and various locations along the beach during the past week, many swimwear lines also exhibited at SwimShow, the top annual trade show for the industry, coordinated by the Swimwear Association of Florida at the Miami Beach Convention Center. In its 28th year, the show attracted more than 7,000 buyers, exhibitors, and press to the four-day show, which wrapped up yesterday.
More than 2,000 swimwear lines showcased their wares, including 80 new brands, the largest number of new exhibitors in the past few years, according to show director Judy Stein, who said, of the 100 new applicants every year, the association usually only chooses about 50.
“We’ve had a tremendous response from established brands throughout Europe, the Middle East, and Pacific regions who are looking to make their mark here,” Stein said. Additionally, the association used social media for the first time as part of its marketing efforts, which Stein said provided a new platform for communication with brands the group didn’t have access to in previous years.
SwimShow wasn’t the only trade show in town this year though. Former LDJ Productions event producer Rick Fatzinger launched a new high-end trade event at the W South Beach through his new company, Latitude. The 21 participating designers took over the ninth floor of the hotel Saturday through Tuesday, showcasing their new lines from hotel rooms.
“We tried to create a show that’s more experiential, where people can experience the resort lifestyle that these brands represent instead of doing a trade show booth,” Fatzinger said.
The show began Friday night with a 600-person kickoff party on the hotel’s pool deck, sponsored by Diesel. The showrooms opened on Saturday and hosted nightly happy hours for the nearly 400 media and buyers who stopped by over four days.