The Luli Fama 2014 swim lineup.
The Luli Fama 2014 swim lineup.

Miami Fashion Week Swim Stripped of Main Event

One of Miami's most anticipated summer events just lost its top. Miami’s annual Swim Week — a series of fashion shows, parties and trade exhibits — announced its flagship event will not be held this year.

Executives at IMG Fashion, the producers of the show's main event, announced they would be "postponing" their show until 2016 as part of a company-wide redesign to "better reflect the unique needs of its designers and partners." No doubt this has something to do with the fact that IMG Fashion was bought by William Morris Endeavor for $2.3 billion in 2013; since the sale, IMG has overhauled various Fashion Week events it hosts around the globe. The loss of Mercedes-Benz as a sponsor has also been a significant factor in the company's retooling.

Historically, IMG's show has been held in air-conditioned tents at the Raleigh Hotel that were so large they required the closing of 18th Street during the event. According to government officials with the City of Miami Beach, the city had been working for the past two years to find a new spot, but to no avail. IMG's top choice — a stretch of beach behind the Raleigh — was denied by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission because of marine turtle nesting season May 1 through October 31.

Miami's fashion community is up in arms, concerned that the loss of the show is a sign of trouble ahead. But many are trying to remain cool, and a number of the show's annual participants have announced they will proceed with their plans. Funkshion Fashion Week Miami Beach has announced plans to stage a tent between 21st and 22nd streets off Collins Avenue to accommodate some of the designers who would have participated in the IMG show. The company will also produce events at Soho Beach House, the SLS South Beach, the Thompson, and the Setai.

The shows during Swim Week are anchored by the annual SwimShow, the largest swimwear trade show in the world. Sponsored by the Swimwear Association of Florida, this year's show will be held at the Miami Beach Convention Center July 18 through 21.

For more information about Swim Week, visit swimweek.com.

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