Swim Collective Rides the Waves of New Trends
Swim Collective, produced by Emerald, took place June 14–15 at the Paséa Hotel & Spa in Huntington Beach, Calif., where guests had the opportunity to see the newest swimwear designs from the vantage point of a beachfront resort.
Retailers from swim specialty stores, major department stores, boutiques, surf specialty stores and luxury resorts from around the world traveled to see what was new at the relaunched marketplace.
“Everyone was so excited to get back to the Paséa after our move here in January,” said Associate Show Director Devon Ranger. “This location is such an ideal setting for buyers to not only get all their orders placed in an efficient way, but it also offers them this retreat-like experience where they are completely immersed in the swim culture and lifestyle.”
Major trends seen at Swim Collective included one-shoulder, asymmetrical bikini tops and suits that provided the versatility of wearing them as a casual top or bodysuit. This trend was demonstrated by the brands Swiminista, Selina Rae Swimwear, VYB Swim and Melissa Odabash.
In fact, founder and CEO of Swiminista, Andrea Bernholtz, was sporting a one-piece bathing suit as part of her trade-show business attire. “I’m wearing a bathing suit right now; I wear this one all the time,” Bernholtz said. She explained the benefits of designing swimwear with versatility in mind, “When you’re packing to go somewhere, you can always just take it with you.”
Co-founderandCreative DirectorofVYB Swim Holly Harshman said being ethically conscious when designing the swimsuits is paramount, and the pieces presented at the show were created out of dead-stock fabrics.
Harshman also added that the company puts their collections into moods. “We will have a surfer girl; someone who wants to have the aesthetic of being in the water; made for lovers, which is more on the romantic and botanical side; and the rebel soul, from the rocker edgy side.”
Founder of Selina Rae Naudia Pate said that “the brand is inspired by alter egos—it’s who you become when you feel the most beautiful and confident, when you feel like you can conquer the world. That’s Selina Rae.”
Pate added that a lot of clients are wanting product now. “They want the new fresh colors and designs that I have,” she said. Blue and watermelon tones were the most popular among interested buyers.
The owner of Molly Brown’s Swim Collection, Donna Allen, was shopping to replenish her store in Las Vegas. Allen was in search of “skimpy” two-piece swim sets and accessories.
“We are also looking for cover-ups and accessories that would be complementary to the collection.” Allen considered the trends within her market “Everything goes, there’s not really one particular trend that everyone is going for.”
Terri Brocker, the sales manager of Melissa Odabash, said that the brand is always in high demand for its animal prints for what she calls “a one-stop shop brand because we have a big array of age range, we have a full accessory line and baby line.” She said the brand has had some variation of animal print in every collection for 20 years.
With engagement at the forefront, Swim Collective offered unique ways for retailers and brands to connect. The “Feel It” display created a tool for retailers to experience fabrics provided by brands on display, along with a product showcase for retailers to “See It” in real life. Day 1 was wrapped up with a networking reception where all guests indulged in decadent food and beverage, enjoyed music by DJ Lindsay Luv and soaked in the beauty of the Pacific. It was the place to be after a full day of writing orders.
In between writing orders, “buyers could also enjoy trays passing pressed juice, get a mini-mani and then go off and enjoy an oceanfront sunset reception with the industry. It’s really the ultimate way to kick-off the Summer swimwear market,” said Ranger.
Photos by Betti Halsell.