Curves and Consciousness at Miami Swim Week

Promoting Pride, Body Positivity and Eco-Friendly Designs
Openly Transgender Model Carmen Carrera Opens For Hunting Hue
Openly Transgender Model Carmen Carrera Opens For Hunting HuePhoto Courtesy of Hunting Hue

Inclusivity, diversity and sustainability are no longer just fashion industry buzzwords. Now more than ever these VIPs -- very important perspectives are at the forefront and I daresay are here to stay,  At this year's Miami Swim Week, many shows represented this new norm, but here we spotlight some of the best and brightest who recognize the need to make swimwear for all body types, all gender identities, and from materials that lessen and minimize fashion's adverse impact on our environment.

Hunting Hue

Hunting Hue Sustainable Swimwear
Hunting Hue Sustainable SwimwearPhoto Courtesy of Hunting Hue

Hunting Hue the LGBTQ + founded sustainable brand by Australian photographer Rebecca Collinson-Smith, made its debut at Paraiso Miami Swim Week by sending models down the runway in gorgeous swimsuits inspired by Sydney's vibrant culture and made from recycled plastic bottles! Plus, transgender. RuPaul Drag Race star Carmen Carrera (@carmen_carrera) opened the Hunting Hue show wearing one of their oceanic prints which were actually made from aerial photos Rebecca shot high above several Sydney landmarks.

Draw On Swimwear

Collinson-Smith also debuted Draw On Swimwear (DOS), a sustainable collection of swimwear and accessories for children that allows them to draw on their suits and create their own unique wearable art! Using design and color kids are empowered to release their inner artist and express themselves, which also helps to foster their self-esteem.

"At DOS we are all about celebrating individuality and being one of a kind. DOS isn't a she/he, non-binary, just DOS - just me! DOS is inclusive of everyone."

DOS fabric is also UPF 50+ protected and water repellent. These adorable and sustainable looks were drawn by the models who wore them:

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The Lila Nikole Collection

Lila Nikole Runway Show
Lila Nikole Runway ShowPhoto Courtesy Getty Images | Arun Nevader

Miami Native Lila Nikole Rivera is indeed multifaceted - the noted stylist for folks like Kim Kardashian and Chrissy Tiegen, and costume and wardrobe designer for Carnivals and massive worldwide shows, is also a swimwear designer who prides herself in designing swimsuits for 'every body'.  It was great to chat with Lila about her thoughts on the topic.

"I want to make things that make everyone feel beautiful, and show off their assets or cover what needs to be covered," said Nikole. "Some people don't like their arms, so we have some long sleeves.  I definitely try to make a collection that's inclusive with new and fresh pieces that can be moved around for different age groups, different body types," Nikole added.

Inclusivity for the Lila Nikole brand means much more than body type as she regularly features transgender models on her runways - model/actress Carmen Carrera also walked her show during Miami Swim Week Powered by Art Hearts Fashion.

"That's part of inclusivity," said Nikole. "What's real and important to me is the person, not how they identify themselves... it's always based on how that person comes to me, the confidence they bring.  I don't care if it's a boy, girl non-binary, it doesn't matter. So you'll see lots of people on my runway including transgender models, and you might not even know there's more than one."

By isolating in a room and turning on music the designer goes into a zone and starts to see the colors, the vibe and gets inspiration, which this year she described as being "like a pop art vintage collage".  The designs were lively, colorful and included boldly printed jackets and menswear. You can view the 'Graphic Paradise' collection here: Lila Nikole

L to R - Carmen Carrera Lila Nikole Rivera & Sophie Linnea
L to R - Carmen Carrera Lila Nikole Rivera & Sophie LinneaPhoto Courtesy Getty Images | Arun Nevader

BFYNE

BFYNE designer Buki Ade and Models on Stage
BFYNE designer Buki Ade and Models on StagePhoto Courtesy Getty Images | Arun Nevader

BFYNE is a black owned Miami based swim and resort wear brand that since its inception not only strived to itself be included and seen for creating high quality, hand-sewn garments that are beautiful, culturally conceptualized and fashion forward - but also strives to be an inclusive brand whose garments can be worn and enjoyed by all. Clearly, a fait accompli as the BFYNE Art Hearts Fashion show is a consistent crowd pleaser and always attracts a diverse crowd, whether it be in the audience or on the stage.  See the entire gorgeous and meticulously crafted collection here: www.bfyne.com

SIGAL

The Designer and Her Muses
The Designer and Her MusesPhoto Courtesy Getty Images

SIGAL, is a Miami-based resort wear brand committed to ethical fashion and sustainability. Founder & Creative Director Sigal Cohen Wolkowiez, a graphic textile artist by trade, hand paints the creations with watercolors and uses natural and sourced materials including lotus, linen, cotton, silk and recycled polyester.

SIGAL has also proven its commitment to being an inclusive brand as evidenced by the chic curvy-girl looks displayed during their Miami Swim Week show - a vibrantly hued, colorful collection called 'Alize' which was inspired by the city itself.

"Miami isn't just a place, it's a lifestyle. Through my designs I paint its essence into every fabric and invite the world to experience its undeniable appeal," stated Wolkowiez.

Pretty in Paisley
Pretty in PaisleyPhoto Courtesy Getty Images | Rodrigo Varela
Summary

We applaud these designers for helping the fashion industry to become more responsible, eco-conscious and representative, while simultaneously putting forth exquisitely beautiful quality designs.

This ethos goes a long way towards ensuring that words like inclusivity and sustainability are permanently removed from fashion's 'buzzword' realm, and should inspire other designers to follow suit.

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