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An Insider's Guide to Swim Week 2015: Where to Go, How to Get There, Who's Showing

IMG may have pulled out of Swim Week this year, but we say in fashion, the show must go on. Major brands and designers like Mara Hoffman, Wildfox, and Tori Praver are still showing, industry brunches are taking over the weekend's mornings, andafter parties and dinner presentations keep the excitement level at an all time high.


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But we're not gonna lie to you, navigating Swim Week this year will be trickier than ever, with so many venues scattered (luckily all on Collins Avenue) and companies running the show. Below, we've laid out the basics– who's showing, how, where, and how to get there– for those folks who have scored invites. (If you're looking for our open-to-the-public party guide, head right this way).

The Companies

Like we previously explained, Swim Week this year is being put on by two major companies: Funkshion Fashion Week and SwimMiami, led by LDJ Productions and SBI. Both require their own set of credentials, so make sure you've requested access from each. If you want a comprehensive rundown of all the shows that are happening, check out Swim Week Calendar. Now if you're a buyer or media member who's really looking for untapped talent, there's Dive Swim Week, which features emerging designers and is modeled after Made Fashion Week in New York. One of its founders actually produced Made, and the hope is that, like its inspiration, it will be the first step to securing a full-production show for many up-and-comers. It takes place in Wynwood. If you're headed to the actual trade shows (these are strictly for industry folks), then there's Swim Show at the Convention Center, Cabana in its own tent by the W Hotel, and Hammock at W South Beach.

The Designers

Pretty much every major designer is showing at Swim Week this year. The list of brands includes Mara Hoffman, Tori Praver, Clover Canyon, Acacia, Luli Fama, Maaji, Mikoh, Frankie's Bikinis, Indah, Agua Bendita, Gottex Liliana Montoya, Belusso, Rob & Lulu, 6 Shore Road by Pooja, Dijana Swim, Sinesia Karol, F**k Swimwear, Floridita, and many more. There are a few new likes premiering, which include HAH (Hot as Hell), Same Swim, and Dijana.

The Formats

Maybe it's just us, but we noticed that many designers opted for long presentations, or dinners or brunches coupled with presentations. We Are Handsome, Vix, and Wildfox are just some of the brands who won't be showing on a runway, but instead at events like cocktail parties, brunches, and dinners. Brands like Mara Hoffman, Mikoh, and Clover Canyon all opted for simple presentations.

The Venues

Although the venues are quite spread out this year, they're only a few minutes away from each other. The Swim Week map spans from Soho House on the northernmost end of South Beach to the lower numbers, where Casa Casuarina is (otherwise known as The Versace Mansion). Most of the shows, however, will be taking place between The Setai and 1 Hotel. Here's a list of the venues where most events are taking place, listed from north to south.

Soho Beach House: Most of Soho Beach House's events are private or member's only, so make sure you have an invite if you want to get past the receptionist to the library, Ocho, or anywhere else that isn't Cecconi's. Soho Beach House, 4385 Collins Ave., Miami Beach.

Thompson Hotel: Surprisingly, the Thompson is laying pretty low on the event's scale this year, although there are a few brunches and fun events taking place here. The Thompson Hotel, 4041 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, FL 33140

The Miami Beach Edition: The Edition has a number of events going on in terms of presentations, brunches, and dinners, but let's be real: this is going to be the place for after parties, so make sure you show up to Basement early. The Miami Beach Edition, 2901 Collins Ave, Miami Beach.

1 Hotel South Beach: Located right next to W Hotel, this is South Beach's newest swanky addition and it's risen to the occasion for its first Swim Week. Shows here include Mikoh, Filthy Haanz, Mia Marcell, Gottex, Bellusso, and a few more. Plus, this is also the site of the only legit SwimMiami show that's open to the public (with RSVP, of course). Scroll down to the bottom of our party guide to get the details1 Hotel South Beach, 2341 Collins Ave., Miami Beach.

W Hotel South Beach: The current schedule of this SwimMiami venue features over 15 shows which are programmed from Friday, July 17 through Sunday, July 19. Shows taking place here include the SwimMiami opening party featuring CFDA designers, Indah, Frankie's Bikinis, Caffe Swimwear, and more. Plus, this is also the location of the Hammock Trade Show. W South Beach, 2201 Collins Ave., Miami Beach.

Funkshion Tent: The Funkshion tent is where the majority of Funkshion's big shows will be taking place such as Luli Fama, Tori Praver, 6 Shore Road by Pooja, Maaji and Acacia. It's located between 20th and 21st streets off of Collins Ave., near the W Hotel.

The Setai Hotel: The Setai is only holding a handful of swimwear shows this year. The Setai, 2001 Collins Ave. Miami Beach, FL.

Shelborne Wyndham Grand: The Shelborne is hosting the Escape Miami Style Lounge so make sure you stop by. Here's why. Shelborne Wyndham Grand, 1801 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139

SLS South Beach: The SLS is hosting a number of events that are open to the public, such as the Peroni Emerging Designer Series and the Sunday Soiree featuring tons of vendors. Clover Canyon and the Maxim swimwear launch are also taking place here. SLS South Beach, 1701 Collins Ave., Miami Beach.

The Delano: The Delano will be hosting a number of dinner presentations, not to mention a bulk of Swim Week's nighttime events at FDR. Like Basement, this will be the place to be once the shows are over. The Delano, 1685 Collins Ave., Miami Beach.

Casa Casuarina: The only show taking place at Casa Casuarina is Mara Hoffman, and if you've scored an invite, you know you're going. Casa Casuarina, 1116 Ocean Dr, Miami Beach.

Transportation

If you're staying in a hotel anywhere between Soho House and The Delano, pat yourself on the back because getting around will be that much easier. Now for those of you locals who opted to stay home (totally fine), parking on the beach is a nightmare, so if you have the opportunity to Uber, take it.

While you can hop between certain hotels (The Delano and The Shelborne, or 1 Hotel and The Setai), Uber, Lyft and taxis are going to be your best bets. First time Uber users can receive a $20 credit if they use the code SWMWK2016. If you're crunched on cash and rich on luck, hail down or call a Swoop Ride, a lively golf cart that will take you from venue to venue for free.

Lounges and Places to Unwind for Media

Since most of the shows take place in the late evening, and the majority of the day's events take place in the morning, there are a few invite-only and media lounges that will be perfect spots for cooling down, charging your cell phones, and passing the time. The W South Beach will have a cabana and media lounge with free Wifi, Smartwater, and places to lounge for SwimMiami attendees. If you're headed to Funkshion, the media lounge is located in The Setai Library, open from 2 to 10pm daily. There will be complimentary beverages from Peroni.