Two Local Gold Coast Swimwear Brands To Take On Miami Swim Week

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Amber Lowther

5 July 2019

Amber Lowther

Article heading image for Two Local Gold Coast Swimwear Brands To Take On Miami Swim Week

Vincija Swim & Lahana Swim

The temperature may be dropping here in Australia, but Miami will be bringing the heat this July with Fashion Palette returning for its second year at Miami Swim Week. Two Gold Coast-based swimwear brands, Vincija Swim & Lahana Swim will be showing at Miami Swim Week at The Setai Hotel in Miami Beach on Sunday, July 14! I chatted to Fashion Palette Founder, Sonya Mefaddi, Lahana Swim Designers Ramana Benson and Vrindy Benson and Vincija Swim founder, Vincija Kovac about all things Miami Swim Week, what it's all about and what we can expect to see from them this season.

FASHION PALETTE - Founder Sonya Mefaddi

What is Fashion Palette? Fashion Palette is a Sydney based agency, working closely with Australian labels to help them grow both locally and internationally. We work closely with brands interested in showcasing their collections on the international platform across New York Fashion Week, Miami Swim Week and Arab Fashion Week to put brands in front of US and International department store buyers, online retailers and press. Australia is so isolated from the rest of the world and therefore limited with the number of international buyers who travel to view the collections of Australian brands during Australian Fashion Week and so we decided to create a platform to place Aussie labels on the international stage in order to help them expand their businesses

How does Fashion Palette assist fashion designers in expanding their business? Fashion Palette provides Australian designers with an all-inclusive runway package which makes it affordable and easy for brands to be able to showcase to international buyers and media. Fashion Palette provides designers with key US buyer contacts, local and international press-coverage in the lead-up to the show and post runway coverage. We place the collections of Australian brands in-front of US buyers from the likes of Bloomingdales, SAKS, Nordstrom and Revolve. We hold the designer's hand from start to finish, provide designers with the right tools, contact lists and exposure. 

What can Fashion Palette do for designers looking to break into the US market? Fashion Palette can help Australian designers tap into the US market and accelerate their growth by allowing designers to showcase as part of our US runway platforms, New York Fashion Week and Miami Swim Week. The cost of a show is upward of $120,000 USD and months of detailed preparation that takes away from designers, what they do the best which is design and create. There is often no guarantee that buyers, influencers or media will show. Fashion Palette provides a cost-effective and low-risk platform for Australian labels to test their viability in the US market and to gain valuable feedback for future endeavours. 

What Australian brands can we expect to see in the Fashion Palette group show at Miami Swim Week? This year we have our largest line-up of Swim brands showcasing as part of Fashion Palette – Australian Swim Collection show including VDM the Label, TJ Swim, Nookie Beach, Lil & Emm, Lahana Swim, Vincija Swim, Sage Swim and the launch of my personal brand, Sonya Swim. A great mix of 90s inspired silhouettes, bold prints and poolside glamour. 

How does a brand showcase with Fashion Palette? Brands interested in showcasing with Fashion Palette can get in-touch with you and provide us with some background info on their brand as well as their current look-book and if they are a brand we can see working in the US we will then invite them to showcase on schedule.

Lahana Swim: Designers: Ramana Benson and Vrindy Benson

What made you start your brand and how long has it been running for?

We spent our youth by the hot shores of the Australian ocean, it was here we dreamed of creating a carefree lifestyle centred and inspired by our life growing up on the beaches along the East Coast, immersed in the culture of the Hare Krishna movement.

Inspired by our artist father, we developed an appreciation for beautiful exotic prints and rich colours from a very young age. The non-judgmental environment we grew up in encouraging creativity and freedom of expression.

We founded Lahana Swim in 2015 as we had a deep desire to create a new reality based on our terms, outside of the expectation of society. We turned our obsession with salt and sea into a dream job, dream company and dream reality.

What gap in the market did you need to fill with your swimwear line?

Being the beach bums that we are we love the sunkissed look and noticed it was really hard to find cheeky, minimal bikinis to tan in. At the time it was only really surf shops and bigger companies doing swimwear, and the bikini designs were pretty consistent year to year. There were not many smaller, young independent women in the industry. Our designs appealed to a new audience, girls that were confident in their bodies and willing to powerfully show them to the world. Our designs spoke to this change and skilfully used social media to grow quickly. 

Where do you find inspiration for your designs?

Inspiration for us comes from many sources. Our minimalistic and bold bikinis are inspired by Australia's love affair with heated summers by the sea. Designed from the heart for women to feel flawless and carefree in luxurious fabrics, vibrant tones and minimalistic designs. We also come from a very creative family of 9, our dad being an amazing artist made us all fall in love with colour, line, texture and movement, he is consistent inspiration to us. And of course, our amazing Lahana girl gang, Lahana babes worldwide are joining the collaborative movement, making a bold statement in cheeky designs that refuse to go unnoticed. The confident and powerful group of women behind Lahana continue to provide the motivation and inspiration behind every Lahana range.

What is it like for you to be showing at a prestigious industry event like Miami Swim Week?

It is a proud moment for us. So much of retail now is online, but events like these give it a 3D energy where you can see and experience the aesthetic and beauty of it all in real life! To walk alongside other amazing brands that are leading the industry is an honour. 

What collection will you be showing at Miami Swim Week? What can we expect to see?

GONE WITH VIOLA

‘Gone with Viola’ was is inspired by the love affair with vintage femininity. Viola sings to women’s hearts all around the world and speaks the language of wild love. A wild love of self, untamed by the wider world. The collection touches on the soft tones and wild prints to show the two very opposite sides one can walk in the journey to self-love. 

LAHANA X VICTORIA - @victoriavillarroel 

The collab range that refuses to go unnoticed. Lahana x Victoria is inspired by Victoria’s girl boss attitude and the jet setting life we all love to follow. Each piece is named after someone or somewhere that is connected to a memory or experience close to her heart. The Collection is bold, bright and cheeky just like the Queen the Lahana x Victoria range is inspired by.

THE RANGER

Comfortable in her own skin, the lone ranger plays by her own rules. There is mystery in her bones and depth to her gaze that tells a story in one glance. Long days are spent in solitude, with the company of water and earth and air. This is what freedom looks and feels like. She is The Ranger. 

What trends are you loving at the moment for swimwear?

We don’t follow trends at Lahana, but rather stay true to our aesthetic and signature elements that make our designs so unique. For us it’s all about a cheeky and high cut, electric colour ways alongside texture and the highest quality. 

What’s the point of difference your brand has compared to your competitors?

 At Lahana we have two collections that run throughout the year. We have a Minimal Collection with basic cuts and signature prints and tones that every women needs in her swim collection. Alongside this we also have our Luxe Collection, unique cuts and bold prints and textured fabric are the signature of this range. 

Both these ranges are highly curated with every element carefully designed. The variation in design, print, texture and cut is what sets us apart from our competitors. 

Where can we get our hands on your swimwear and when can we expect to see the new collection for sale?

You can find it online on our website, instore at our Australian HQ and in Stockists around the world. 

Lahana Swim Collective Store - 9/25 Industrial Ave, Molendinar Q. 4214

Instagram @lahanaswim 

Website - https://lahanaswim.com/

A stockist near you https://lahanaswim.com/pages/find-a-stockist

VINCIJA SWIM FOUNDER: Vincija Kovac

What made you start your brand and how long has it been running for?

I’ve always had an obsession with sewing and designing from a very young age, After studying diploma of fashion design back in 2007 I started an online business showcasing my one-off handmade creations, fast forward to 2016 when finding the perfect fitted bikini was a challenge it naturally pushed me into the direction of creating handmade swimwear.

What gap in the market did you need to fill with your swimwear line?

I knew that there wasn’t a lot of customisation options out there, and knowing every bikini is hand-made to order I think really gives the customer a unique personalised shopping experience. We also cater to all shapes and sizes which I think is really important in todays world to empower women to feel confident and sexy in their body and promote a positive body image.   

Where do you find inspiration for your designs?

Most of my inspiration comes from the 80’s and 90’s when the boundaries of femininity and sexuality were being pushed, women were breaking the rules and turning heads with their barley bikinis.

What is it like for you to be showing at a prestigious industry event like Miami Swim Week?

I am so grateful and humble for such an amazing opportunity to be featured in a prestige global event like Miami Swim week. It’s always been dream of mine and I guess the pinnacle for every Swimwear label to see all your hard work and collection be featured down the catwalk in front the world.

What collection will you be showing at Miami Swim Week? What can we expect to see?

Sundrenched in Neon is all about sexy high cut bikinis, minimal coverage, ruching detail, famous neon glows. On-trend colours and patterns with a modern design twist with a play on the late 80’s and early 90’s.

What trends are you loving at the moment for swimwear?

We love all things high wasted, textured, banded detail and of course pop Neon colours!

What’s the point of difference your brand has compared to your competitors?

Unlike other brands, all of our swimwear is handmade in-house right at our headquarters here on the gold coast. We specialise in custom made orders including customised sizing and offer a variety of colour & print options to cater to all shapes and sizes so that everyone is sure to find something they love.

Where can we get our hands on your swimwear and when can we expect to see the new collection for sale?

You can exclusively shop Vincija swim online. www.vincija.com

  

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