The Gates South Beach Hotel
This was my first time to Miami and I can't wait to go back! What a fun city to be in, especially during Swim Week! Many thanks to The Gates South Beach Hotel for hosting my girlfriend Jyo and I. We enjoyed our stay and truly would highly recommend to others who are planning a trip to Miami. The hotel was ideal for us because it was central to all the Miami Swim Week events as well as a block away from the beach. To get access to the beach the hotel took us on little tuk-tuks, which was a super fun quick ride! When checking into the hotel they happily greet you with a smile, but with a delicious cookie as well. I hate to admit this, but Jyo and I would maybe have 2 cookies a day, they were that good! My favorite part about the hotel was the smell. As you walk into the hotel from being in the hot humidity, the scent is calming and instantly you begin to feel cool. It's hard to explain, but with the scent and AC, I instantly felt relaxed. So thankful for The Gates Hotel for hosting us and for being in the perfect location for all the fun Miami Swim Week activities! 10 out of 10 would stay there again!
**I only took video at Swim Week and sadly I have to make a youtube video to upload my content. So I pulled what I could from online and not everything is online yet. My apologies for not having better images or videos of the looks. When things calm down for me, I'll make a video of all the clips I took and replace them with what I have here now**
Miami Swim Week Recap
I don't think I have ever had a busy weekend like this before. Jyo and I were nonstop. Truly, we were! We would wake up early for shoots and get ready for the day. We would then go to booths and network with brands at Hammock or Cabana, then we would go to parties, then the shows, and instead of going out, we stayed in and worked on content. It was a full weekend of activities. Here is a quick recap on what we did!
Our first day we had Glamsquad come to our room for full hair and makeup. Don't know what glamsquad is? Well its fabulous! They come to wherever you are and help you get ready for whatever the occasion may be. Our first occasion was brunch for our girlfriends swimsuit relaunch for Solkissed Swimwear. It was the perfect first event because I got to meet so many beautiful and kind bloggers. Jyo knew them from social media and was able to see them in person for the first time. We all connected so well and were basically glued to each others sides throughout the weekend. It's really hard in this industry to meet sweet and loving girls. You think on Instagram that these people are so great, but in real life they truly are cold bitches. These beach bombshells are the real deal and im beyond thankful to have them in my life forever now!
Or first show was actually the brand I was most familiar with, Monday Swimwear. I am a big fan of influence Natasha Oakley and was so honored to attend her and Devins first runway show. It was a total success. What is very interesting about their label is that it is very true to who they are. The colors were neutral, (white, black, nude), and their resort wear was my favorite out of every label we saw throughout the weekend. Every single item that was seen on the runway would totally go well with my everyday style. It was the perfect way to start the show.
I noticed 2 things instantly at this show:
1. The way these models walked is far different from any other runway. In Paris, the models walk very stoic and walk with grace. Almost borderline robotic. Victoria Secret is very playful with a bit of a bounce. Swim Week is nothing but bounce. They purposely want their body to shake, or these girls just don't know how to walk.
2. It was women of different sizes!!! This was such a delight to see. I noticed that some stuck to the "status quo" of slender models, but truly it was so nice to see the level for all body types.
Photos from Google Images
This was a really entertaining show! Mikoh opens up with Hawaiian hula dancers and a tribal band performing, leading into the opening look. I just waned to dance the entire time! The cutest looks were the little kids. Anything to do with little kids wins in my book. These 2 little girls basically ran down the runway they were so nervous. When it came to their second look, they weren't;t nervous anymore and were waving to their dad in the audience.
Eberjey is the sort of company I would support 100%! Not only was they their first runway show EVER after being in business for over 25 years, but all proceeds went to charity. Every single person who worked the show, bartenders, ushers, models, everyone volunteered to be part of this successful runway show. It was hands down adorable! All the little kids, yet again stole my heart. I loved every single suit and resort wear that walked down the runway! This show we sat VIP with other influencers and quickly became friends with all of them! Bellow are some photos of my new friends!
What I loved most about this line, Onia, were was the collaboration they did with Guadalupe Designs. If you don't know that designer then check out their website or Anthropologie. Trust me, you'll fall in love. There isn't really much I can write about this designer. Either I was tired and didn't pay attention enough, or it just looked like every other swim runway show I had seen. Nothing really stands out in miming when I look back, but I'm sure other bloggers have more to say. All I remember is the sign falling from the wing and the collaboration with Guadalupe Designs.
Camilla with Love
Camilla With Love was my favorite event we went too because of the Japanese theme and location. If you ever find yourself in Miami, go have a cocktail or dinner at the Faena hotel! The decor is unreal and I don't even know where to start when daescribing it. You walk into the hotel and each wall is covered in dramatic and elaborate murals. As you walk to the backyard, there is a pool bar that is covered in sea shells making it look like Arial from the Little Mermaid designed it. Then you look straight ahead and you see the golden elephant skeleton on display. Probably one of the coolest art installations I have seen in a while, making this the most unique party location I have ever attended.
Cabana is a massive trade show where all the biggest designers come hoping to connect with buyers and bloggers. I was so overwhelmed the second I walked in and saw hundreds of designers. Some I recognized and some I had no ideas existed. We sat an networked for HOURS before having to run and get ready for the shows that night. Of course I had to stop by Eberjey after witnessing one of the greatest runway shows throughout the weekend!
Jyo was most excited for this show because Acacia is fabulous, but the location was amazing! Turning an everyday parking garage into chic runway show. Of course there were kids in this runway too and everyone melted, but it was all the colors that caught my eye. Beautiful vibrant colors that I felt I could wear. I'm extremely white and got my first spray tan for this trip. Even without the spray tan, I felt I could pull off all those patterns and colors. Socializing at this show was really fun too. I got to sit with all my new girlfriends and even met my favorite influencer Olivia Cuplo. She is stunning in person and very sweet, she's is someone you should follow if you aren't already. Aside from the amazing runway show, the most memorable moment was after the show and away from the parking garage. We were starving and decided to pass on the next show sorry designer, but our tummies were talking and they weren't happy!!). When we got to the restaurant, we ran into the designer of Acacia. I'm going to start crying all over again as I write this, but she knew who Jyo was and was so beyond thankful for all her hard work and dedication to the label. IT WAS A PROUD MAMA MOMENT FOR ME SEEING THAT ALL UNFLOD! Of course I had to get a photo of them together. Needless to say, we enjoyed the rest of the night wearing smiles that were miles long across our faces!
Photos from Google Images
WOW!.... Just wow! Kaohs was an extremely sexy show! It was western themed where all the girls had cowboy boots, hats and fun props like whips! YUP, whips!! If you were a guy at this show, I'm sure you were turned on! Nonetheless it was so entertaining cheering these girls on while they strut their stuff down the runway. I can't wait for this line to come out because there are a few pieces I can't wait to wear myself!
Hammock is very similar to Cabana only its not in a tent, but at The One hotel. I had to come in and see my girlfriend Alyssa and her amazing line Strait Swim! EVERYONE CHECK HER OUT!!!! Her latest line is all hand painted with watercolors and is symbolic to her finances home town. Excuse me while I whip these tears from my face, HOW SWEET IS THAT?! Honestly, she truly is talented, I love my suits I have from her and I can't wait to see her business grow!
After Hammock we quickly hopped in an uber and made our way to Bikini.com event where they had a little party and pop up for other designers. When I was in hammock I fell in love with Revel Rey, every single piece was unique and totally MY STYLE. When we got to the party, I got to meet the designer and over course I not only fell in love with her outfit, but her personality. Such a sweet heart!! Her mom was there to supporting her, which made me love her even more. My mother is my best friend and seeing how close she is to her mom to made my heart melt.
So I really hate saying this, but at first I didn't understand why there was a swim week. At first (before attending), I couldn't understand what was so special because there are only so many ways you can design a suit. Cute cut outs, high waisted, triangle tops, to tub tops. Sure you can say the same thing for Victoria Secret Fashion show. All the designs are basically the same, its jus different lace or material or jewelry to go with it, but VSF is so much more than that. There are elaborate designs and couture designers who collaborate. You can't buy everything that walks downtime runway, because its meant to be art. Here at Swim Week, these are meant to be worn. Some of the shows we saw at Miami Swim Week were all a blur to me because they were the same cut outs, styles, and even patterns. Montce complete changed my perspective of it all. Sadly on my last night I understood what Miami Swim Week was all about. Eberyjey, Monday Swimwear, and Acacia are all memorable and all had true unique designs that I fell in love with. Montce took it up a few levels with these little mini skirt bottoms. It was adorable!! Finally, I saw a swimsuit that had a true unique design. Something I've never really seen before on any influencer or in any store. Sure there were still pieces that were similar to everyone else show, but finally something that stood out and was truly unique!
Jyo and I did a quick outfit change for Pitusa. There was no way we were nit going to wear one of their designs, especially sitting front row! So many fun vibrant colors and designs!! Jyo is obsessed with tassels and pom-poms and I've slowly fallen in love with them too. Truly all thanks to this label. If you haven't heard of Pitus before, check them out. their fabric is fantastic, its so soft and breathable. It's really perfect for hot day, like how it was in Miami every single day. This is another creative designers who takes things to the next level. These designs are unique and I haven't seen styles like this before. TRUST ME, if you're going anywhere tropical, get your hands on some Pitusa! You'll regret not having it with you!
Maaji was the best show, and thats exactly what it was, a show! It opens up with a meditational clips of girls at the beach talking about what give us life, whats gives us meaning. Then leads into a fun colorful performance. Every suit and outfit was vibrant and playful, but the designers added fringes, feathers and beads to make it more creative as they walked down the runway. The models walked very playfully making me want tot get up there and dance with them! PLUS THIS WAS THE FIRST TIME I SAW MEN WALK DOWN THE RUNWAY! All of the women went wild, I mean WILD! The entire tent was basically screaming and cat calling these guys as they walked down. No doubt I chimed in too, of course! Smart marketing really, if the models are having fun, then you can see yourself having fun in that outfit too. The best part was the end. A little band came out playing some music and all of a sudden, tons of people from the audience came out to dance!!! This truly was the best show of all!
This was the closing show of Miami Swim Week and to sit front row made it that much more special! The night before I had the honor of meeting the designer and she truly is beautiful inside and out! She did a big move and decided to rebrand her line from KOA to KYA. This show was Great Gatsby themed and the firs model to walk out came slowly crawling seductively enticing the audience. It was mesmerizing! At the end of the show the tent filled with gold glitter and everyone got up and danced! It was the perfect designer to end the week with!
Jyo, I'm dedicating this blog post to you because none of this would have happened without you. To be honest, I would have never thought I would go to Miami Swim Week in a million years. All thanks to you, I was able to see Mimi for the first time, fall in love with my spray tan, die in the humidity and semi somehow love it all at the same time, network with amazing designers, but most importantly I was able to make new friends. Friends that I know I will keep forever because they truly are beautiful inside and out, just like yourself. I love you so much and so beyond grateful to call you my best friend. Going on this trip with you opened my eyes to a new world and I was such a proud mom seeing you with these designers. I love you so much.