Pablo Starr is publisher of FWO and RNWY, and author of forthcoming RNWY: A Novel. (More info.)

A Funkshion of Success

Founded in 2002, Funkshion is currently the oldest — and one of the biggest — producers of shows during Miami Swim Week, pre-dating IMG’s involvement.

Founded by Aleksandar Sale Stojanovic and Alain Perez, it’s helmed by Aleksandar and Natalija Dedic Stojanovic. Funkshion has attracted high-profile designers from Tommy Hilfiger to Betsey Johnson, among many others.

 
In the Swim

 
Q: How did Funkshion come about, and when? And who’s behind it?

Funkshion was established in 2002 to fill a need for fashion week in Miami/Miami Beach. We made it very relaxed and attractive, so in the first two seasons we already had designers such as Tommy Hilfiger, Betsey Johnson, Nicole Miller, M+F Girbaud, Ted Baker, Fred Perry, and others.

We made it very relaxed and attractive

In the beginning it was twice a year (March and October) and in 2004 we added Swim Fashion Week in July, a year before IMG came to Miami. Alain Perez and I started it back in 2002 and Natalija Dedic joined the team some 10 years ago as a Creative Director.

Over the years we’ve received many recognitions such as a Fashion Group International Award, three proclamations by the City of Miami Beach, and Key to the City of Miami Beach.

Q: What was Miami Swim Week like when you first started producing shows?

Originally we started with the tent in Collins Park, where we still do shows, and then added three Hotels: W Hotel, The Setai Hotel, and The Soho Beach House.

We were concentrated in tents on brands such as Cosabella, Eberjay, Liliana Montoya and in hotels on more exclusive brands such as Chloe, Trina Turk, Sinesia Karol, and others. Over the years we switched the W Hotel to the SLS hotel and last two years to The Nautilus Hotel.

So this year we are in the main tent in Collins Park in front of Bass Museum, the Setai Hotel, the Nautilus Hotel, and 11 11 Garage on Lincoln Rd. In a sense there was more harmony back in the day, as we had a great communication with IMG and the schedule was seamless. We were supporting each other in any possible way to make the week perfect.

this year we are in the main tent in Collins Park

Q: What’s it like now, post-IMG? What are the challenges and what are the positives?

As I mentioned, we had a great communication with IMG and were doing the schedule together. After IMG left, a few production companies started doing remote shows and communication was lost. I tried to communicate with them but without success. That said, the biggest challenge is making a Miami Swim Week schedule work for all. The positive is that all the big brands still do shows, and are pushing the limits creatively. On the other hand, activewear, resort, and lingerie designers started taking part in Swim Week, which just shows the strength of the week.

the big brands still do shows, and are pushing the limits creatively

Q: What makes Miami Beach special as a place for swimwear collections?

Miami Beach is a perfect city for any convention. Just look at Art Basel, Food and Wine. … Miami Beach is a perfect city because everything is a walk away. Hotels, restaurants, the Convention Center, are all within 3-4 blocks. Miami Beach is also perfectly placed geographically, between Europe and South and North America, and very accessible from other parts of the world. Now add an amazing beach and ocean, and you get perfect setting for swimwear collections. Many designers do their photo shoots while in Miami.

Miami Beach is also perfectly placed geographically

Q: What do you see for the future of Miami Swim Week? What’s the dream?

I really think it has a potential to be Art Basel of Swim. More and more brands are doing extra things in addition to trade shows and fashions shows. There are brunches, day events, parties. The core of Swim Week is the same as Art Basel — trade shows. However, fashion shows are crucial for the development of this week, as well as all other side events. That is what made Art Basel so huge. They attract celebrities, press, blogger, influencers, and guests in general.

it has a potential to be Art Basel of Swim

Q: What’s the BEST part of being involved in Miami Swim Week?

We’ve been producing events and fashion shows for more than 20 years. We’ve done some major shows and events for mega brands like Chloe, YSL, Ralph Laurent, Missoni, Moschino, Lanvin, Versace, and many others.

However, swimwear is unique, as these brands do not have major budgets like other brands, which forces them to be very creative. I love seeing that process transform on our runways. We always offer them a blank canvas, and then their creativity makes each show look like a different venue. And I love being a part of that process. Every year they reinvent themselves.

their creativity makes each show look like a different venue

Q: What can we expect to see this upcoming season?

This season we are expanding our venues and events. There will be social events, influencers brunches, panel discussions, pop up shops, designers, and models “Lips and Sips” headquarters, and many more. For the first time we will incorporate an LED screen in the back of the runway, and I am looking forward to seeing designers’ creative juices flowing.

We also added an extra venue this year, so I am looking forward to see how will that play out.

This season we are expanding our venues and events

 
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Learn More

funkshion.miami

With love,

FWO

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