Cabana Makes a Big Move at This Year’s Miami Swim Week
Now celebrating its fifth year at Miami Swim Week, Cabana debuted in a new location during its 2019 run July 13–14. Outgrowing its intimate oceanfront tent—swapping it out for the newly renovated Miami Beach Convention Center—Cabana aimed to remain an intimate, highly curated experience. This year, Cabana leaned into Resort collections, offering a mix by hundreds of emerging as well as recognizable brands.
“I come from a retail background, and I understand what consumers are looking for, and right now they’re looking for resortwear that goes hand in hand with their swim looks,” said Janet Wong, chief executive officer of Cabana. “I think a lot of swimwear brands realize that having resortwear that goes with their swim line gives them a much stronger point of view. Since brands themselves are moving in that direction, we thought it made sense for our show.”
As is customary to their business model, Cabana added about 15 to 20 percent new exhibitors to their floor this year. Notable buyers included Net-a-Porter, MyTheresa and Matches Fashion.
Most buyers and exhibitors lauded the move to the convention center as a major upgrade from years past. Cindy Khang, the owner of the New York boutique Azalea’s, gushed over the new location. “The addition of more bathrooms and steady air conditioning is great,” said Khang, who typically attends Miami Swim Week specifically to visit Cabana. Searching for pieces that retail around $250, Khang and her colleague, buyer Rebecca Lee, were drawn to bright colors and animal prints. “I think overly muted and basic suits are pretty much over,” Lee noted.
By contrast, Kirin Pandher, the director of sales and merchandising at Cynthia Rowley, wistfully reminisced about Cabana’s prior location on the beach. “I actually miss the tent. I feel like it was more intimate and stylized,” she said. “It created a buzzy vibe that felt more like a trade show.” Nonetheless, Pandher insists that the show is a “tight-knit community” of brands, and it remains a consistent, dependable event for doing business, as she lined up appointments with Saks Fifth Avenue, Shopbop and Everything but Water.
At the booth for Irvine, Calif.’s L*Space, Sales Director Debby Martin and Creative Director and founder Monica Wise enjoyed the atmosphere, which afforded opportunities to forge a deep connection with buyers.
“We were looking for a more intimate setting, that resonated better with the experience of wearing our swimwear,” Martin said. “They make conscious decisions about the brands they show, and it feels handpicked.”
Now in their third year exhibiting at the show, the L*Space team raved about the pace of the event. “Traffic has been phenomenal. We’ve been packed every hour with three rows of buyers,” Wise said, noting that visitors were drawn to their pointelle-rib-textured suits, primed to ship in early August.