BY ALEXANDER GURMAN
Special to CTFashionMag.com
I recently attended the Sport illustrated Swimsuit runway show and the Miss Bikini US competition during Miami Swim Fashion Week.
After doing so, I have some thoughts on how to improve each.
First, I loved both events for different reasons. At Sport illustrated, I was able to film thanks to my friend David, who is the brains behind Shift, a YouTube channel. The Miss Bikini US invitation came to me courtesy of Fashion Week Brooklyn’s Rick Davy, a longtime friend and fashion producer.
The main difference in those events is a matter of money.
Let me explain.
The Sports Illustrated event was celebration of humanity and accomplishment.
Miss Bikini Contest US was positioned as a place where new and experienced models could find paid opportunities to monetize their good looks and social media influence.
Sports illustrated had amazing poses, crowd, location and lights. Everything, from an organization point of view, was top notch. What Sports Illustrated lack was sports.
I wish the models would have come out with golf clubs, hockey stick, tennis racket, soccer balls and other pieces of sports equipment. I wished the models will take sport-influenced poses. I wish models would wear more sports-appropriate swimwear rather than designer swimwear.
However, I did love the no hassle feel. I loved the poses models did deliver. I loved the celebrity crowd (the red carpet was great, I wish I could have done more interviews). Other than that, it was an amazing event.
The Miss Bikini US event also had a few surprises.,
These crazy Hollywood lights behind models was a surprise for many of the photographers. They took time for the professionals to adjust settings to make sure the photographs were as good as they could be. As awesome as the lights were, however, they forced us to miss out on the amazing sunset.
The Hilton Cabana at Miami Beach had a swimming pool. But the competition missed out on an opportunity by not using it. I brought a camera cases for an underwater shoot, however I did not get a chance to use it. More models could have been in the water jumping and swimming. It would have been cool.
Back to the money.
The Miss Bikini US contestants had to pay almost a thousand dollars to be in the contest plus they paid for hotel, travel, food, transportation, and other expenses.
If the models would have been allowed to walk the runway with the products that they endorse then they might have made some money.
For example, Dino Energy Drink and VetVittles were my sponsors. My trip as photographer, filmmaker and interviewer was quite a success at many levels.
Getting paid to be brand ambassador would have been a great opportunity for the contestants to recoup some of their expenditures and hopefully provide them a profit also.
PHOTOS by ALEXANDER GURMAN