Miami Fashion Week 2014 begins Thursday

Airy caftans, jazzy tunics, glam gowns — oh, my! This year’s Miami Fashion Week is shaping up to be quintessentially Magic City-esque.

Now in its 16th year, the event takes place this Thursday, May 15 through Sunday, May 18 at the Miami Beach Convention Center and boasts a whole new attitude. Capitalizing on Miami’s origins as the cruise capital of the world, Miami Fashion Week is now focused on luxury resort wear collections.

“The launch of Miami Fashion Week Resort is a very exciting new element and theme we are presenting this year. The original, fresh new concept combines enticing fashion shows who will showcase their 2015 resort collections to buyers, press and fashion aficionados in the coveted cruise capital of the world,” Founder and President of Miami Fashion Week Beth Sobol says.

Every year, Miami Fashion Week plays host to a variety of designers from around the globe in womens wear, mens wear, swimwear, jewelry and accessories. This year, in particular, the event will showcase over 70 designers from 25 countries. Miami-based designer Julian Chang is amongst one of them and will be revealing his Resort Collection on opening night. “Miami Fashion Week is the essence of Miami. It brings together the excitement, sensuality, glamour and casual sophistication that has become the Miami scene,” Chang says of the annual event.

This year marks Chang’s sixth time participating in Miami Fashion Week and he touts the affair as an excellent means for designers to network, market and sell their brand. “Miami Fashion Week has given me an opportunity to create runway designs that enable me to fulfill my total creativity. It also provides a great amount of exposures in the national and international markets,” Chang said.

Established and emerging designers are always tantamount at Miami Fashion Week. This edition, internationally recognized Spanish designers such as Custo Barcelona, Agatha Ruiz de la Prada and Andres Sarda will lead the interactive shows with their European take on luxury cruise and resort trends. Also on the catwalk? Malaparmi, Stella Jean, as well as Yamamay for Miss Universe Collection.

“A very exciting element has been the Eastern Air Lines Flight Attendant Uniform Design Competition with five of Miami’s biggest designers competing for the title as the official designer in charge of developing not only the flight attendant uniforms, but also the ground crew uniforms and many other forms of merchandising to help with the re-launch of this iconic Miami brand,” Sobol added.

As the event matures and expands every year, it is clear Miami is becoming a fashion tour de force. During the week of the event, Miami Fashion Week’s guests contribute an estimated $15 million in economic impact, according to Sobol. As for placing South Florida on the fashion map, Sobol says, “There are many factors that make Miami an amazing city, specifically the diversity of the international traveler that comes here. While jet setting from continent to continent, each culture brings its own style and flavor. So what happens when you combine that perfect mix? Fashion Magic!”