Shop-Eat-Surf visited the Swim Collective trade show on Thursday at the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort.
A variety of swim and active brands were in attendance, showing their Spring and Summer 2016 collections. The floor was busy, with many exhibitors calling the show a staple platform for their brand and praising the intimate atmosphere and personal attention provided to exhibitors.
Strappy designs, crochet, macramé, cutout and feminine details, high-waisted bottoms, travel-inspired prints, and multi-functional beach-to-street pieces were popular trends in swim for the upcoming seasons.
In addition, several brands were featuring new technical details in their lines, designed to make their swimsuits functional as well as fashionable. Patagonia was showing a new technical bikini featuring their nanogrip technology, which makes the suit suction to the skin and stay in place when in the water. The nanogrip bikini was just awarded “Best in Show” by Gear Junkie at the Outdoor Retailer show.
Fox was also showing swimsuits with silicone grippers on the legs, and race dry technology that dries five times faster than normal swimwear.
Many brands were showing new design collaborations as well. Beach Riot was showing three design collaborations, including an eyewear collaboration with D’Blanc in which Beach Riot founder Nicole Hanriot created a unique color story for three of her favorite frames.
L*Space was debuting their Bali and Italy-inspired travel sandal collection, which is a collaboration with Cocobelle. We’re hearing from retailers that L*Space is doing very well at retail, and L*Space’s Monica Wise said they are excited to be coming out of the gate strong for the next season, too.
Monica said that swim has become an all-year business now, with surf-endemic accounts even buying year-round. Their new line features destination-inspired prints and unexpected color combinations, and their reversible styles, bralette tops and pieces with strappy details continue to sell well.
For the coming season, L*Space is expanding their offerings of one-piece swimwear styles, and in apparel they are taking resort to an everyday look with their “duets” collection – kimonos, shorts, and various pieces that can be paired together or broken up to create multiple looks.
SES was one of the first to see O’Neill’s new Cynthia Vincent for O’Neill line, which launched at the show and will hit stores in April. This marks O’Neill’s first design collaboration on wetsuits. Wetsuits and other neoprene pieces feature iconic Cynthia Vincent art, like a watercolor rose, giving a feminine and unique look to a sporty category.
World champ and Roxy team rider Stephanie Gilmore was on hand as Roxy showed its new swim collection featuring infusions of color, embellishments, soft color palettes and prints inspired by a surf trip to Portugal and a road trip to Morocco. Since a shift in management with swim design now coming from France, Stephanie noted seeing more of a European influence in Roxy’s swim designs, yet touted the functionality of the suits in the water as well.
See more photos and news from brands on the show floor in our slideshow.