New swimwear styles keep sales floating higher [Sun Sentinel :: ]
(South Florida Sun Sentinel (FL) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) July 22--Local and international swimsuit designers showcased their latest collections Monday at the world's largest swimwear trade show, offering a glimpse of pieces that will hit stores over the next year.
The 32nd edition of SwimShow featured more than 450 booths, including new and veteran retailers and designers displaying racks of swimsuits, resort wear and beachy accessories, such as sunglasses, Panama hats and sandals.
The show kicked off Saturday at the Miami Beach Convention Center and ends Tuesday.
"We are here networking, talking to everyone we can," said Ali Grief, owner and designer of Fort Lauderdale-based Montce Swim. Grief sells bikinis online and at her newly opened store at the Gateway Shopping Center in Fort Lauderdale, but wants to expand her reach. "We want to branch out to wholesale," she said.
"We pride ourselves on launching new brands," said Judy Stein, executive director of the Swimwear Association of Florida, which produces SwimShow. "You never know who will be the next great designer."
SwimShow's schedule overlaps with the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim, which also highlights the industry's latest styles, trends and collections from renowned global designers. This year's show in Miami featured runway shows from brands such as Maaji Swimwear from Colombia and Cia.Maritima from Brazil.
Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst for The NPD Group said there's a "healthy demand for swimwear."
Swimwear sales nationwide reached $4.4 billion in the 12 months ending May 2014, up 6 percent from the year before, according to NPD.
Growth is driven by the launch of innovative, stylish and versatile products, including those that are thermal, lightweight and that offer UV protection, Cohen said.
"Also, let's not forget that stylish swimwear is important to many consumers, who tend to update their suits every season," Cohen said in a statement. "Combining innovation with such consistent demand enhances the fact that consumer swimwear spending is not going away anytime soon."
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