Can you show three swimwear collections down a runway and tell them apart? Designer Monica Wise and her L*Space runway show tried to prove that it could. Last July's Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim in Miami hosted all three of the designers collections on the same catwalk to mixed results.
The main L*Space collection had happy colors in mixed zig zag prints and some interesting cutouts here and here. Simple shapes and silhouettes with tie front or tie-side details on the bikini tops and bottoms.
The second part of the runway show was "The Collection". This was meant to be a group of resort wear for when you are not going to be around water I suppose. The colors were mainly black and linen white. The silhouettes were exceedingly simple and relaxed. Why this couldn't be merchandised back to one of the original swimwear labels to expand the brand, I don't know.
The Maio collection had some mixed color prints as well, along with some retro-inspired high-waisted bottoms or vintage bustier styled one piece suits. However, the most distinguishing thing about this label on the runway was the horrible over-bronzing of the irritated models.
If one of your collections is not distinguishable from another one of your collections, using terrible makeup is not the way to go. I'm wondering, and would love some feedback, whether or not dividing your brand into separate identities like this is making too much work for yourself an if it isn't a much better strategy to consolidate and elevate a larger lifestyle brand with different looks around it.
Almost a year later, that over-burnt tan look was what I most remember about this show, and not what the models were wearing. If your product looks too much alike, you have to ask yourself if there is really a good reason to create another label? This is a shame, because when I went through my archived photographs here, the swimwear really was quite pretty. whether your skin was crispy or not.
All photos by Mariana Leung