SwimShow, the Swimwear Association of Florida’s (SAF) destination swimwear tradeshow, concluded on a high note after hosting a record number of exhibitors and buyers at the Miami Beach Convention Center throughout the 4-day event. The 2012 edition of the largest and most comprehensive exhibition of its kind welcomed 8200 visitors from over 60 countries proving once again that this event is at the epicenter of the swimwear industry. The international buying season begins at SwimShow.
Judy Stein, Executive Director of SAF, expressed her excitement stating: “We at SAF are proud of the pivotal role that SwimShow has come to play in our industry and we will continue to make every effort to make sure that our event stays an exciting, dynamic, and high-value swimwear trade event second to none.” In its 29th year, the SwimShow has a long standing reputation as the premier resource for buyers from all swimwear categories, including designer boutiques, resort shops, specialty stores, surf shops, department stores, mass merchants and more. Stein believes that the three reasons for its continued success are:
Quality - SwimShow has always attracted the top brands and the most significant buyers - some of this year's exhibitors included Milly, Shoshanna, Roidal, Manuel Canovas, Seafolly, Jets, Despi, Delfina, Maryan Mehlhorn, Luli Fama, Heidi Klein, Lenny, Natori, Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren, Vitamin A, Pull-In, Parke & Ronen, Body Glove, Emamo, Sundek, and many, many more
Quantity - Exhibitors experience a regular increase in their appointment schedule and have a continuously steady flow of traffic to their booths
Convenience - In today's turn-on-a-dime marketplace, buyers need to be more efficient than ever. SwimShow can help buyers do half a year of sourcing in just a few days
The importance of SwimShow is also demonstrated through SAF’s strong partnerships with industry and government agencies. This year the show teamed with PANTONE, the world-renowned authority on color and provider of color systems for a comprehensive trend seminar that gave attendees insight into the seasonal color trends. SAF also partnered with INVISTA Xtra Life LYCRA® for the revamped production of the annual Fashion Show which highlighted one look from Cruise/Resort 2012 Collections from each of the 400 exhibitors. In the Association’s ongoing commitment to create a pleasant experience and the most effective buying environment, SAF partnered again with the Miami Beach Visitor & Convention Authority and the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau to offer increased access to the endless possibilities of South Beach with an onsite concierge, negotiated rates at a range of hotels and complimentary transportation.
A new component of this year’s show was the addition of the LingerieShow. 30 lingerie brands were strategically picked based on their product base and compatibility with the overall show. According to Stein,“Our strategy was to start out on a small scale to gauge response and then to grow the category properly and effectively with the right product mix.” This year’s participants included an even mix of swim/lingerie hybrid brands and lingerie only companies that had never showcased with SAF before. Proving itself a hugely successfully assimilation, plans are already underway for a “Lingerie Boudoir” section at next year’s show that will exclusively feature a larger group of lingerie exhibitors.
Amidst the numerous deals being done and contracts being finalized by key buyers and decision makers from around the world, designers and brands chose SwimShow as the stage to launch a number of new products and design innovations. Its reach and reputation makes SwimShow a vital part of the swimwear industry’s promotional campaigns. Commenting on the show’s continued growth, Gabi Amato-Heape, buyer at The Breakers Palm Beach said,"The Miami Swim Show is one of the best trade shows in the country. It is well organized, the venue is comfortable, and the floor plan makes it very easy to shop." While Monica Wise of L*Space said "Thank you to SwimShow for our best show to date!" Diane Brucks, a member of SAF since 1983, and currently representing Maryan Mehlhorn, Le Soleil and La Palapa, has seen this tradeshow continue to grow and become recognized as the most important SwimShow of the year. "This past July's show has been the best show in the last 4 years and enables me to service all of my current accounts and to build new business relationships." And Amber DeLecce of Pily Q agreed saying,"This show exceeded all my expectations as a new brand. I was overwhelmed with the response, the variety of buyers and the constant flow of foot traffic! It is the perfect platform to launch a new brand. I met with swim buyers from around the world."
Showcasing 15% growth over last year’s numbers and an over-all consensus of positivity and signs of a rebounding retail market, this has been SAF’s most successful event since the economic downturn in 2008. Over 400 exhibitors representing nearly 2500 different brands from around the world showcased their Cruise/Resort 2012 collections in the 250,000 square foot facility. Meanwhile, plans are already underway for next year’s SwimShow which will take place July 21 – 24, 2012. According to Stein, SAF plans to continue building on their successes, and promise surprises are in store as the organization gets ready to commemorate its 30th Anniversary.