By: Ismael Rodriguez
Miami usually takes a backseat to fashion capitals like Milan, Paris, New York and London, but industry professionals believe the Magic City could one day be mentioned alongside these prominent names—and it starts with Miami Fashion Week.
While fashion is no strange topic in Miami, the fashion week scene has slowly developed over the past two decades, but its new owners have rebranded the event this year, catapulting it as the only event in the world exclusively featuring resort and cruise collections.
This year’s five-day event, which ran from May 31 to June 4, indulged its guests with runway shows that included new resort collections by prominent Miami designers like Rene Ruiz and Silvia Tcherassi, as well as concerts, a master class at Miami Dade College, student exhibits and a gala hosted by Antonio Banderas, fashion week’s honorary president.
The event was also added to the well-known Council of Fashion Designers of America fashion calendar, earning a spot as one of the five officially recognized fashion weeks worldwide and the second within the U.S., according to what CEO Julio Iranzo told the press.
“We think that Miami being in the important dates is important for Miami Fashion Week and the city,” Iranzo told the press. “Milan, New York, London and Paris—and now the fifth city, Miami—for us, it is a proud moment.”
Iranzo is part of the new owners, The Fashion Shows, a Miami-based company founded by European investors in May 2015, that participated in revamping the event in 2016, elevating the Miami fashion scene while helping evolve the Design District, Brickell City Center and Miami Dade College’s Miami Fashion Institute.
Other professionals within the fashion industry also understand that Miami’s fashion sector is a mirrored effect of the booming fashion scene.
As a result, the Miami-Dade Beacon Council, the county’s economic development agency, has recorded that creative design, which includes fashion, is one of the seven main industries in South Florida because of its potential for growth and higher paying jobs.
“In the fashion sector, there is a rich presence of well-established designers, but there is also a large ‘Designed in Miami’ movement. Every day I discover a new company that is based here. These are global brands and growing… and are completely committed to Miami,” Pamela Fuertes-Berti, the council’s vice president of International Economic Development Programs, told the press.
“Now we are seeing more fashion companies interested in coming here, from Latin America and Europe,” Fuertes-Berti told the press. “They are intrigued to try a place that is fresh and young and contemporary, and among fashion brands, there is a lot of interest in Latin America and the Caribbean.”