Sunday, July 25, 2010

It's On To Vegas...The 2011 Fashion Trade Shows, MAGIC and More

A few words of wisdom to my fashion buyer:

The Las Vegas fashion trade shows are daunting to say the least.  There's MAGIC (no magicians,) POOL (no pool,) PROJECT (no construction workers,) ISAM (NOT "Sam I am,") CURVE (no windy road,) SLATE (no rock quarry) and I'm sure that I'm forgetting a few more spin-off shows. This is some serious sourcing.  Pack your gym shoes, bring practical clothes and don't forget your wallet...Las Vegas isn't a cheap town by any means. Seriously, a buyer should consider doing some long distance training before going, because honey, you're going to walk miles and miles and miles.  This is a marathon show!  Then there are marathon parties too...which I advise you to go early, leave're going to need your strength and wits about you for that 9AM appointment.  For a fashion buyer, this is probably a group of the most important shows that you can attend, so be smart about it.  I only say this because I've seen good sourcers bite the dust many, MANY times in LV and it isn't pretty when they get back home, so be forewarned.

OK, I've made my point and now you know why I am not going this year.  I'm sending you, one of our savviest girls, to hunt for a few needed items for the catalog.  I know that you'll do great.  You can battle the crowds, swelter in the heat, and nurse the hangover.  You're only there for a and out.  How much damage can be done? 

"Parties?"  NO 
"Gambling Expense Account?" NO 
"VIP Club?"  NO 
"A Headlining Show?"  NO
"Dinner at Le Cirque?" NO 
"Well, Can I have a new bikini for the trip?"  NO 
Just come back with some killer stuff and in one piece.

MAGIC is serious business.

~ C.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Miami Swim Shows - Wrapping Things Up

Last night was the final show at the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in Miami, featuring the 2011 Swimwear collections.  Here's a rundown of some of my favorites. Pix to follow soon.

Kooey, Lisa Blue, Aquarella, Lisa Maree...The Aussies came out in force at the Raleigh to show off their creations.  It was a wonderful, graphic display in beach fashion.  I Loved Kooey's use of their circular prints, as well as Lisa Blue's designs that incorporated the classic, Renaissance paintings.  Aquarella did a killer orange and black bandeau that showed great structure and style.

Tyler Rose designer, Nicole Carroll,  doesn't reinvent the bikini, but what she does do is reinvent what kinds of fabrics and trims that going into making the bikini.  Ms. Carroll uses materials that you wouldn't normally find in swimwear and puts it all together to make some sweet, sexy, little swimsuits that show a ton of panache.  This year was no exception...I really liked the woven ribbons used for ties, as well as the tiny, ruched bottoms and strappy details on many of her bikinis.

Watch out for Marysia Swimwear...they're doing everything right.  This season, the collection was fabulous, showing class and sophistication, as well as some inventive details such as high waists that button down low, knit fabrics, unique underwires, and breezy cover-ups.  The colors are soft and the the feminine styling is off on its copycat pieces here.  I think that this was my favorite designer of the day.

~ C.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Mercedes Benz Fasion Week Swim 2011 - Let's Review

Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Swim - Let's Review...
I would absolutely love to show you all the pix, but I’m doing it legal and waiting for permission to publish them. Until then, you’ll just have to trust me on my text depictions.


Crystal Jin is a new line looking long, sleek, with satiny, Asian inspired fabrics. I liked this line. While maybe not earth shaking in design, the cuts looked clean, the swimsuits certainly fit the models well, and the designs were all very appealing. This is a line that is almost baked to perfection…try it now, or give it another year to mature and flourish.

OMG…watch out! Beach Bunny is going bawdy-glam again. Ya gotta love their burlesque themed bikinis with the over-the-top lingerie inspired swimsuits…lots of lace, lots of shine…lots of va-va-va-voom!

Swimwear Anywhere looks at swimsuits the way most of us should. They’re bringing purpose and practicality back to swimsuit fashion…and that’s all I’ll say about that.


I love Mara Hoffman! Gawd…who doesn’t? She amazes me that she does such an excellent job with swimwear, when, in fact, she has several other divisions in her design repertoire that are equally impressive. Where does she find all that energy? As usual, Mara Hoffman Swimwear for 2011 takes the print to another level entirely and the same goes for her bodies. She's always going just to the edge, peering over, and coming back with something new for the rest of us that are not quite as brave as she. And while her models are certainly lovely, if not a bit quirky, (that right there tells you something about Ms. Hoffman,) they never upstage her designs. This season there’s lots of crisscross lattice straps, combined with her now famous Egyptian inspired prints. Strappy details, skinny pants and flowing caftans…oh my!


Mr. Carter, please take a bow. Red Carter’s swimwear shows always reveal his flair for the theatric, but he also demonstrates his practical side. He has a knack of combining drama and classic wearability into all of his designs. For 2011, Red gives us some clever cut-outs, and straps going places that we never knew they could go. He also used lots of metallics, but punched it up with some eye-popping solids. I’m so glad to see that once again, his line is super strong this season. (Applause)

Cia.Maritima Swimwear is always so feminine, sexy and above all…Brazilian. It looks like a Samba sounds. This year, I instantly fell in love with the exotic butterfly prints used for the swimsuits and many of the cover-ups. I think that the line this year is just a touch more sophisticated than in the past. There was some serious thought that went into many of the cover-ups, designing them to go easily from beach to bazaar. (I especially like the long jumpsuits.) Cia.Maritima always gives us some variety, particularly with bikini bottoms that range from full coverage to miniscule backsides.

This is the second year that I’ve reviewed CaffĂ© Swimwear. I think that they are still evolving and probably going somewhere…soon. This season there were lots of big, chunky accents, decorating a cool, summery palette. More to come on this newish label.

Tonight: Marysia, Nicolita, Tyler Rose Swimwear, An Aussie montage including Kooey, will be hitting the runways. I love all of these labels…I can hardly wait to tell you about them next time!

~ C.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Revving it Up at the Raleigh , Bass Museum & the W - Miami Swimwear Shows 2011

The Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week kicked off in Miami on Thursday evening with Trina Turk opening at the Cabana Grande.  On Friday, White Sands, Beach Bunny, Dolores Cortes, Swell Suits, Ed  Hardy and Crystal Jin hit the runways at the historic Raleigh hotel.  Tonight, we're anxious to see what Mara Hoffman brings to the show, as well as Poko Pano and Aqua de Lara.  Still to come, Red Carter, Marysia, Tyler Rose, Cia.Maritima and our Aussie friends from Kooey Swimwear.  Pix to come soon!

Trina Turk Swimwear 2011 - Girly and Gossimer ...lots of cheerful, summery prints and lighter than air, shimmery cover-ups...great show, fabulous collection!
~ C.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Thanks to the Reps

As the Miami Swim Show gears up and the last minute phone calls and emails make their way to our office, I realized that I really needed to stop and give a, big "Thank You," to all of those hard working reps that work the shows, make the cold calls, and drive to Gawd-knows-where to show the lines. For swimwear reps, summer is a long season, full of hard work. It's a life on the road, setting up their booths and samples in SP, then moving on to SB, LV, LA, SD and NYC to do it over and over again. I've been there and know how much hard work it really is. This reoccurring scenario often reminds me of the song, "The Load-Out" by Jackson Browne:

"Pack it up and tear it down, they're the first to come and the last to leave."

Although, it's probably not a good idea to mix business relationships with personal ones, in spite of that, I've made quite a few friends with some of the reps over the years. I really appreciate and identify with their optimism and pioneer spirit. We keep tabs on how our kids are doing, who's carrying which lines next season, and how the market is fairing. We critique the styles, trade tips on where to stay and eat cheap and talk about how to stay viable and profitable in this crazy economy. I've seen a few good reps throw in the towel. I can't say that I blame them; it's been extremely tough lately. Still, I'll miss these fashion warriors and wish them well on their new ventures.

I will be skipping the Miami shows this year, so I won't be seeing many of the favorite people in this industry. For that, I am sad. I hope to catch up with them in LA, or NYC. Perhaps we can meet beyond the glitz and hoopla of the big shows, maybe at a restaurant, or hotel room in SY, or SB, or on old PEARL. Because when it's all said and done, it's not the glam that's the reps and their fabulous swimwear lines.

(Good Luck to Jennifer, Tina, Jessica, Elizabeth, Marcia, Alexa, Camilo, Cindy, Lisa, Catherine, Monica, Allison, Nichole and all the others...Sell lots of good stuff!)
~ C.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Let The Sales Begin! Summer Is The Time To Pick Up a 2nd Swimsuit

There's nothing worse than to put on a soggy, wet bikini. Alas, if you only have one swimsuit that you wore swimming earlier in the day, then you're facing some serious goose bumps you know where. Having a dry spare swimsuit, or two, is a must for summer. Now is the time to buy that second, or third bikini and it doesn't have to be an ill-fitting cheapy swimsuit from a discount store or catalog. Tropi-Ties Swimwear has put some of their best, designer swimsuits on sale. They also offer an array of discount codes, many which can be used in conjunction with a sale item, making it a 2-fer deal that add up to some serious savings! So, here's a rundown on coupon codes and what's on sale as of this date.

Looking for the latest, hippest swimsuit labels around?  Try Mara Hoffman Swimwear, or Zimmermann Swimwear.  They've both been the hot topics in the fashion and swimwear worlds.  Tropi-Ties is offering a super sale on very limited stock left in both of these labels.  Sale ends July 11th.

Salinas Swimwear is now on sale and at some very nice prices, I might add.  Try only $72 for the Lumiere Bikini.  How about just $54 for the Cupido Halter Bikini?  There are other Salinas styles to choose from.  Stock is limited, so if Salinas is your thing...hurry before they're gone.

Looking for a fabulous 1 piece swimsuit?  Try Lenny's Tribal Maillot, $129Lenny Swimwear has to be one of the chicest and fashion forward swimwear labels around and usually sells for a much higher price.  Zimmermann Swimwear also has a couple of cute 1 piece swimsuits, now on sale.  The Bluebell Lace 1 Pc. and the beautiful, black, Papillon.

You'll find other great swimsuits on sale by going to the Tropi-Ties On Sale Page.  Please note that all sales on SALE ITEMS are FINAL.  Although, sometimes if you just need a different size of the same item and they still have it in stock, they will make an exception.  Be sure to email them first, before you ask for an exchange.

And as for coupon codes, here's a list of the current codes that will work today:

MEETRED - Save 20% off of Red Carter 2009 and 2010 

MELISSAO - Save 25% Discount on Melissa Odabash 2009 & 2010 

DRINKTHE AGUA - Save 20% off of the latest bikinis and cover-ups by Agua Bendita Swimwear

MEETKC - Save 20% off of Karla Colletto 2009 and 2010 

TWIFFIC - Save 10% on any order 

MYMAAJI - Save 20% on any Maaji swimsuit 

MYSAUIPE - Save 25% on Sauipe Swimwear

Just insert one of these appropriate codes in the space when prompted at checkout.  These codes will usually work on sale items, as well as regularly priced items.  Happy shopping!

~ C.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

L*Space Swimwear - Pure Fun In The Sun!!!

L*space Swimwear represents everything Californian. Designer Monica Wise is way ahead of here time and has a clever eye for details and the use of modern fabrics and findings. The 2010 L*Space Swimwear sold well this season, with one of the very favorites being the Sexy Back Racer Bikini.

 I can harldy wait to see what Monica brings to us in the new, 2011 L*Space Swimwear collection.

~ C.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Marysia Swimwear - All American

In honor of the 4th of July, we would like to introduce to you a new line from the good ol' USA.  Marysia Swim is a delightful collection of inspiring swimsuits by Marysia Dobrzanska Reeves, done up in a pallete of  femininity and intimate elegance.  The frills show up, once again, as well as the high-waisted bottom.  I especially like the clever way that Marysia does tiny gathers, here and there, to create a new look. 

So, I'll make this short.  Please have a wonderful and SAFE 4th.

~ C.