by VICTORIA HENLEY
Famous for its pristine beaches, non-stop nightlife, and balmy weather, Miami has long remained a sought-after vacation destination for seekers of a tropical paradise from around the world.
While Miami has arguably cemented its status as the premiere beach vacation destination, the city is not typically recognized or cited as a “Fashion Mecca.”
However, since its inception in 2004, Miami Swim Week has drawn thousands of designers, models, photographers and a myriad of other industry professionals to the city every summer for an unparalleled celebration of swimwear, for not only its functionality, but also its integral position in the world of haute couture. Showcasing swimwear, resort wear, and a myriad of fashions just as dynamically diverse as the models who brandished the pieces on the runway, Miami Swim Week, which returned with a bang in 2022 after a hiatus, set the gold standard for all future swim week productions to follow.
Backstage Pass on IHeart Radio/CTFashionMag scoured the city for the best of the best productions, designers and even nightlife, which you absolutely must check out during any excursion to Miami Swim Week.
CITYVIEW FASHION WEEK:
Produced by powerhouse fashion entrepreneur and seasoned pageant director, Betty Reliford, City View Fashion Week is a boundary breaking production event, benefiting numerous nonprofit and philanthropic organizations.
Featuring a vast array of models from around the world, City View Fashion Week supports the notion that beauty can be seen in all shapes, sizes, ages, colors, and genders, highlighting a stellar line up of models, wearing world class swimwear and fashions of a large variety of genres.
The day kicked off with a workshop I taught to a talented group of models, all preparing to hone their skills for the evening’s impending shows, then I quickly shifted gears to assist with the Magnifique portfolio and editorial shoots, shot by master photographer Lynn Henley of @lynnhenleyphotography.
Magnifique, my company through which I have produced hundreds of events, mentored thousands of models, and featured a bevy of seasoned and emerging designers, opened the show with a stunning line up of swim and restore wear by Ron Vestal’s Glow Art and Blessed at Hands Boutique by Natika Thompson.
The models– including Lillie Ann S., Aubree H., Norah H., Jonathan D., Krystle H., Destine M., Isabella D., Anamaris B., Renanit D., Yessenia M., Ashley R., Sally and Gabby F., Raquel R., Eva D., Alicia and Rasheed G., Nicole P., Jenna S., Mariangely S., Angelique E., Sonya U.—all walked with gusto and did an outstanding job donning the various designer looks they were assigned throughout the evening.
My designer line-up included a gorgeous emerald-green traditional African print dress designed by Nwane Williams of Sokana Rose, as well as a luxury red leather cross body satchel by Infinity Gods Clothing, and high-end swimwear by Hippy Swim, Ercolini and Luna’s Swimwear.
City View Fashion Week concluded their epic weekend of shows with the crowning of the new Miss Swim Week International 2022 and several additional titles, awarding royalty who will enjoy a trove of invaluable industry related experiences through the year to come.
Embassy Suites Miami Airport, who served as the venue and host hotel for the City View Fashion Week events, provided an elegant, sleek, and stylish venue space, top-notch customer service and hospitality, as well as a free hot breakfast buffet and complimentary evening social (featuring an exciting line up of wines and almost every cocktail and libation imaginable to all guests.)
The exceptional Embassy Suites staff also prepared a scrumptious lunch and dinner for the City View Fashion Week participants throughout the duration of the July 15 opening day’s shows.
A luxurious heated outdoor pool, hot tub and relaxation grotto is available for guests’ convenience to relax and unwind after a long day of work or play.
Special thanks to Betty Reliford and the entire City View Fashion Week team for a wonderful production experience*
SOCIETY FASHION WEEK
Owned and operated by the illustrious power couple, Brady and Krissy King, Society Fashion Week has produced some of the largest and most high profile shows at New York Fashion Week, Los Angeles Fashion Week, Milan Fashion Week, and of course, Miami Swim Week. The biggest and best Society-produced Swim Week show yet, the 2022 event was housed in the gorgeous historic Alfred DuPont Building, featuring masterful architecture, a palatial aesthetic and an extravagant Great Gatsby-esque interior design.
My walk schedule began with wearing a classy, elegant blush pink crop top embellished with a blue floral appliqué and high waisted powder blue pants from the inimitable Elizabeth Cordelia Clothing (@elizabethcordeliaclothing).
The second Society Swim Week walk featured a baby blue bikini with jewel embellishment and a gossamer noir-style black cape by teen model, designer, and entrepreneur, Katie Davis for Charjean Couture (@charjeancouture) while a silk pink cocktail frock and crystal encrusted clutch shined in the House of Barretti (@houseofbarretti) showing. Pineapple and Pink (@thesweetbikini) provided an Aztec-style black one-piece swimsuit with a plunging neckline and bright orange trim, leading to my finale walk for Smock Me (@smockme ) in an edgy, black, logo embellished streetwear style bikini.
The epic grand finale featuring Krissy King Swimwear, was the perfect ending to a high-octane, high-fashion and high-energy experience with Society Fashion Week, a company which has gained notoriety as one of the top production outlets in the U.S., with a focus on creating a warm, friendly, and open environment for fashion creatives.
Other highlights of the Miami Swim Week shows powered by The Society were an impromptu shoot in front of the venue’s namesake logo with Mike Chaiken, editor of CTFashionMag, one of Magnifique Fashion Show’s top collaborators and an unbelievably relaxing chair massage by the women-owned company, Traveling Aura Mobile Spa (@travelingaura).
LAN OF FASHION
Lan of Fashion is an NYC-based premier fashion production company ardently committed to the objective of providing a platform for both established and emerging creatives and career professionals working within the fashion industry. Featuring an impressive resume of top notch show productions from across the U.S., Lan Of Fashion is gaining traction as a force to be reckoned with in the world of production, garnering press from prestigious outlets including TLC, Spectrum News and Getty Images, just to name a few.
My booking day at Lan of Fashion began with an afternoon shoot with the artistically gifted and incomparably skilled photographer Weston Mosburg (@weston.mosburg), who holds the honor of being The Society Fashion Week’s newest house photographer.
Mosburg and I shot 3 signature looks from the Hippy Swim Collection around the gorgeous Hilton Miami Beach grounds, featuring the breathtaking snowy white beach, lush green palm trees, and elegant swimming pool as our shoot backdrops.
The shoot also featured one of my favorite summertime libations, Lindemans Beers in Strawberry and Peach, a refreshing Belgium-based lambic beer (established in 1882) which is just as viscerally stunning in color as it is uniquely delicious in flavor.
The streamlined and well-organized Lan of Fashion production day kicked off with fittings of the Magnifique models for my opening collection, which was comprised of eclectic pieces ranging from formal ball gowns, flowing resort wear, and one-of-a-kind pieces from my longtime design collaborator, Sake Clothing (@_sake_clothing_).
My headlining special guest models of the evening included Yessenia M., Kiersten A, and Katie D., as Lynn Henley Photography beautifully captured the show’s 4 designer presentations from the media pit.
In addition to the Magnifique presentation, my walks included a stunning red, white, and green bikini for U’Rare (@u_rare @c_drizzy), and a show stopping, reversible, high fashion tropical print swimsuit by powerhouse designers/ fashion entrepreneurs, Krissy and Ashley Rhodes, Epta Wear (@epta_wear).
Special thanks to the exceedingly professional and polished Lan of Fashion production team for featuring me as an emcee, designer and model at the Miami Swim Week ‘22 show
MAU MIAMI: host of the (Unofficial ) Miami Swim Week Afterparty
Mau, a modern, bohemian, Mediterranean restaurant in midtown Miami, features two genre bending aesthetics which transport guests, upon entry, to the exotic worlds of Mykonos and Tulum, no passport required.
A world class dining destination by day and evening, featuring masterful and unexpected chef prepared culinary delights, designed to excite and expand the palette.
During the late evening hours, Mau transforms into a pulsating nightclub, featuring the latest dance beats spun by a house DJ, mood lighting, a staggering selection of the world’s finest libations and liquors and an impressive list of A-List celebrities (Iggy Azalea and Tory Lanez were two of the many high-profile rappers in attendance during our evening’s wrap party). Mau Miami is the premiere nightlight and special occasional destination of midtown Miami.
The evening began with networking with dozens of industry professionals, several whom have been featured on numerous high profile reality shows (including Shakira’s “Dancing with Myself”, Netflix’s “The Circle” and my alma mater “America’s Next Top Model”), and Mau’s ambitious and personable promoter, Billallan Bouable (Allan) made sure everyone had the chance to mix and mingle before being served a scrumptious multi course dinner comprised of Caesar salad, a tropical rice dish, featuring fresh roasted tropical pineapple and miniature fried onion rings, and chicken skewers topped a spicy Dijon mustard glaze and chives. The finest quality Dom Perignon champagne and top shelf tequila shots were served in an ornate Colombian Style carafe.
Exhibiting a fun, festive attitude and unparalleled hospitality, the Mau Miami staff presented a “Land of Fashion: Miami Fashion Week sign” to cap off a wonderful evening, creating the perfect atmosphere to bid adieu to a stellar 2022 Miami Swim Week Season.
PHONE NUMBER: (786) 425-1024