On the move: Latin American swimwear brands marking territory at Miami Swim Week

Photo by Michael Ferrer for TRAFFIC CHIC

By: Lourdes Nicolle Martinez, Co-founder & Editor in Chief

Latin American fashion is moving ahead globally year by year, and it definitely did not stopped this year at Miami Swim Week. Latin American designers conquered the Paraiso Miami Beach runway, taking up almost half of the schedule.

Luli Fama, one of the most expected shows of Swim Week, once again made a splash on the runway, this year with an Italian flare. “Ciao Bella!” showcased their original prints, body hugging silhouettes and unique construction in solid colored suits and ribbed textures inspired by the magic of Capri and the Amalfi Coast in Italy. Also, the bright and bold colors were inspired by the coast, the lemons, the florals and all things that transport you to a seaside villa on holiday to this magical region.

With aerealist dancers spinning in the air while the star-studded cast of models included Charly Jordan, Cindy Prado, Shannon De Lima, Georgina Mazzeo, Jena Frumes and Priscilla Ricart wore smooth and ribbed lycra swimsuits were presented in one and two piece styles alongside many metallic styles and strong jewel tones to channel an era of retrofitted suits in the Italian-inspired runway show. Their original prints and perfect fit makes the brand a favorite among Luli Babes around the globe that wear sizes from XS to XL.

Luli Fama Ciao Bella runway show at Paraiso Miami Beach - Photo by Michael Ferrer for TRAFFIC CHIC

This Resort and Cruise 2023 collection introduced their new ready to wear line that offered dresses, caftans, and other pieces that can be worn from a brunch to a dinner, or just to a vacation anywhere. Interestingly enough, all the pieces are available for purchase right now.

On the third edition of Destination Colombia at Paraiso Miami Beach, 10 Colombian designers presented their Resort 2023 collections thanks to ProColombia and its efforts to help the Colombian fashion industry. Because Colombia has gained the titled of the meca of swimwear production in South and North America, much was expected from these young brands.

Alma Arena at Destination Colombia runway show at Paraiso Miami Beach – Photo by Michael Ferrer for TRAFFIC CHIC

Alma Arena, a brand born in 2021,  presented minimal and timeless sophisticated pieces inspired by raw nature, organic forms and the traces of sand made by the passing of time. “Soul Journey” seeks to find balance and happiness, both individually and collectively as everything settles back to what we call normal life, inspired by that unforgettable summer where there is a reconnection with our being and nature, a healing and self-care ritual; natural landscapes, rustic textures and wild pigments stand out. 

Alma Arena at Destination Colombia runway show at Paraiso Miami Beach - Photo by Michael Ferrer for TRAFFIC CHIC
Alma Arena at Destination Colombia runway show at Paraiso Miami Beach – Photo by Michael Ferrer for TRAFFIC CHIC

The inspiration was complimented by a peaceful palette that went from deep blue to heartwarming mustard and ending with a cheerful fuchsia.

Bahama Mama at Destination Colombia runway show at Paraiso Miami Beach - Photo by Michael Ferrer for TRAFFIC CHIC
Bahama Mama at Destination Colombia runway show at Paraiso Miami Beach – Photo by Michael Ferrer for TRAFFIC CHIC

Bahama Mama told the story of the Colombian Caribbean coast and the waves that capture everyone’s attention during summer. Inspiring people to make the most of out summer, the vivid patterns digitally printed on the  sustainable swimwear and resortwear are made of 100% recycled polyester from pre and post-consumer materials and natural fabrics such as cotton and linen.

Bahama Mama at Destination Colombia runway show at Paraiso Miami Beach - Photo by Michael Ferrer for TRAFFIC CHIC
Bahama Mama at Destination Colombia runway show at Paraiso Miami Beach – Photo by Michael Ferrer for TRAFFIC CHIC

As the brand profess, the collection reflects happiness, confidence and comfort complemented by simplicity designed for those free and stylish souls destined to bring out the sensible but daring side of life.

Bahia Maria at Destination Colombia runway show at Paraiso Miami Beach - Photo by Michael Ferrer for TRAFFIC CHIC
Bahia Maria at Destination Colombia runway show at Paraiso Miami Beach – Photo by Michael Ferrer for TRAFFIC CHIC

Even though I love Colombian swimwear, my favorite collection from Destination Colombia was Bahia Maria. “Fantastica” and “Jardines de Vizcaya” was a feminine, chic and soft presentation that seeked to highlight the beauty of women; both very romantic and very floral collections, with laser cut figures and large boleros. Created in a soft and fresh palette to be worn from beach to the city, Bahia Maria aimed for versatility and comfort with a high level of sophistication, perfect for summer travel

Palmacea at Destination Colombia runway show at Paraiso Miami Beach - Photo by Michael Ferrer for TRAFFIC CHIC
Palmacea at Destination Colombia runway show at Paraiso Miami Beach – Photo by Michael Ferrer for TRAFFIC CHIC

Palmacea presented “Macarena” for Resort 2023. Following their inspiration in Colombia’s flora and fauna, the brand selected the “Serranía de La Macarena” national park and its charm to design joyful prints that were transformed with pleated textures and twisted straps.

Palmacea at Destination Colombia runway show at Paraiso Miami Beach - Photo by Michael Ferrer for TRAFFIC CHIC
Palmacea at Destination Colombia runway show at Paraiso Miami Beach – Photo by Michael Ferrer for TRAFFIC CHIC

The rainbow palette of orange, emerald green, blue and lilac mixes with wine, brown and banana helped balance the collection.

Smeralda focused on the wild life that grows in nature without human intervention when designing “Silvestre”. The proposal gave a spin to last year’s collection adding new prints and silhouettes in eco fabrics made from fish nets and bottles recovered from the sea. 

Inspired by real women that want to turn their souls on fire with happiness, Mar de Lua Resort 2023 collection is what we can define as bohemian chic collection that brings out the beauty of nature and all of its essence in each design, managing to connect with the free soul of their client empower them with self love. 

Mola Mola at Destination Colombia runway show at Paraiso Miami Beach - Photo by Michael Ferrer for TRAFFIC CHIC
Mola Mola at Destination Colombia runway show at Paraiso Miami Beach – Photo by Michael Ferrer for TRAFFIC CHIC

Mola Mola “Retro Boulevard” collection for Resort 2023 brought the nostalgia and vintage feel of Ocean Drive in Miami Beach and mixed it with the modern 2023 to present a fun, vibrant and young collection filled with prints and layering of resort wear over the swimwear to make it a trend for next summer.

Mola Mola at Destination Colombia runway show at Paraiso Miami Beach - Photo by Michael Ferrer for TRAFFIC CHIC
Mola Mola at Destination Colombia runway show at Paraiso Miami Beach – Photo by Michael Ferrer for TRAFFIC CHIC

The brand creates the bold prints and lively color combinations in-house, making each design unique to the brand and are created to make a statement in lycra made out of recycled plastic PET bottles.

Puntamar at Destination Colombia runway show at Paraiso Miami Beach - Photo by Michael Ferrer for TRAFFIC CHIC
Puntamar at Destination Colombia runway show at Paraiso Miami Beach – Photo by Michael Ferrer for TRAFFIC CHIC

Puntamar changed their internal DNA and presented “Hexagonal”, taking new color combinations and ruffles to the next level. The ruffles are hand-made from hexagons creating a geometrical visual that can be seen as flowers in each piece.

Puntamar at Destination Colombia runway show at Paraiso Miami Beach - Photo by Michael Ferrer for TRAFFIC CHIC
Puntamar at Destination Colombia runway show at Paraiso Miami Beach – Photo by Michael Ferrer for TRAFFIC CHIC

In addition, most of the pieces have different color layers that create visual illusions and color mix and match. Puntamar aims to show a new way to use swimwear and revolutionize the way of thinking of  their customers by making them part of their daily outfits. 

PQ Swim at Destination Colombia runway show at Paraiso Miami Beach - Photo by Michael Ferrer for TRAFFIC CHIC
PQ Swim at Destination Colombia runway show at Paraiso Miami Beach – Photo by Michael Ferrer for TRAFFIC CHIC

PQ Swim Resort 2023 collection is reminiscent of the blissful, shell-speckled shores of Boca Grande. Just like a wave, the proposal swept away the audience’s attention with the deep blues, then basked them in the peacefulness of ombre’ infused violet sunset styles. 

PQ Swim at Destination Colombia runway show at Paraiso Miami Beach - Photo by Michael Ferrer for TRAFFIC CHIC
PQ Swim at Destination Colombia runway show at Paraiso Miami Beach – Photo by Michael Ferrer for TRAFFIC CHIC

Their shimmery soft pink pearl designs are the perfect feminine touch that the swimwear needed, while the textured deep green Banyan styles are inspired by the island’s famous willowy trees. Every piece looks carefully crafted, with the highest quality fabric and impeccable fit to accentuate the beautiful figure of the woman wearing it.

Praia at Destination Colombia runway show at Paraiso Miami Beach - Photo by Michael Ferrer for TRAFFIC CHIC
Praia at Destination Colombia runway show at Paraiso Miami Beach – Photo by Michael Ferrer for TRAFFIC CHIC

Praia by Dayanara Durán “Sunset Secrets” Resort 2023 collection left Colombia to be inspired by the California coast permanently bathed by the magic that only God gives through the sunsets. Joshua Tree and Laguna Beach gave life to this collection, inspired by the delicacy and glamour evoked by the waves of the sea, the falling leaves when the wind moves the trees and the flight of birds. Each color and design stands out with the imposing golden sun that accompanied them in the production of this collection.

We could see the focus of the brand in authenticity and elegance in the resort wear that gave chic options for next year’s summer wardrobe.

Outside the ProColombia shows, OneOne Swimwear made its debut in Paraiso Miami Beach from Medellin, Colombia. The colorful and young collection featured a six part proposal comprised of ribbed textured fabrics, juxtaposed with solid, simple materials, shiny lurex and original prints on eco-friendly fabrics in colors that include violet, navy, sky blue, coral and a solid, classic essentials line of black, white, gray and ivory swim styles paired with comfy tenis shoes. 

OneOne runway show at Paraiso Miami Beach - Photo by Michael Ferrer for TRAFFIC CHIC
OneOne runway show at Paraiso Miami Beach – Photo by Michael Ferrer for TRAFFIC CHIC

One thing that sets this brand apart is their “no waste” motto, producing the swimwear as its ordered. Another way to be sustainable is by creating the swimsuits from recycled raw materials. We will see in the future if that made-to-order models brings success to the brand. 

Another awaited collection was Maaji Spring 2023 “Rewind for Good Times” inspired by carefree 90s days, Veejays, and Beach Days, music immediately transports us to an era of glowing colors. Vibrant solid colors, fun retro prints, and shimmery fabrics completed the color palette. Coral Lava, Honey Gold, Cobalt Blue, Crimson Red, and Pool Blue are the collection’s top shades. The new Neon is all grown up and hotter than ever.

The Spring ‘23 collection aims to empower every woman to enjoy life and live her sunny days wearing the swimsuit she loves. Among the top trends, Maaji presented strappy bikinis with removable straps to wrap around the body. The new way of displaying color block is the piping color block, which is subtle and fun. Boho textures are embroidered locally in Colombia. Twinning sets and easy dresses are a wardrobe must-have. Skimpy Brazilian-style bikinis are perfect for tanning in the sun all day. Finally, rings are back and stronger than ever.

This collection has 20+ new prints: stripes, flowers, color blocking, and geometrics like the Rubik’s Cube print, a neon & black combination which will catch everyone’s eye at the beach. Also, 80% of this collection is manufactured with fabrics from recycled fibers.

As you can see, Latin American brands are taking over the runways at Miami Swim Week and we hove the empowerment and sustainability movement doesn’t stop.

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