Jen Su

What a difference a week makes!

Miami is literally “swimming” right now due to all the heavy rain and flooding, but just a week ago, we finished Miami Swim Week: The Shows in perfect weather.

Showcasing the Miami lifestyle, with a blend of beauty, fashion, and creativity – swimwear in sustainable fabrics and innovative technology were the name of the game – with plenty of bikinis, heels, beach bodies, and tans.

According to Miami Swim Week Founder and CEO of The Shows Moh Ducis, “Miami Swim Week: The Shows exists to not just showcase brands, but to help identify the pain points for designers and connect them to the resources, consumers and support their need to keep elevating their business.”

Top model and designer Georgie Badiel holds up a piece from her Liberty x Justice For All Clothing Line.  Badiel was Miss Burkina Faso in 2003 and Miss Africa 2004, and heads the Georgie Badiel Foundation. Image:  Jen Su / Soho House Miami

Former Miss Africa 2004 and Miss Burkina Faso 2003 Georgie Badiel dazzled the audience with her Liberty x Justice For All clothing line.  The top model, designer, and activist heads the Georgie Badiel Foundation, to provide clean water to the people of Burkina Faso.

“I started as a young girl and used to work three hours a day fetching water in my village,” said Badiel.  “That’s the story of so many women that I had to leave behind, and that’s why water is so dear and precious to me.  More recently, I went to visit my sister waking up between 2 am and 4 am just to get water.

“So I knew nothing had changed.  And that was how I started my organization for access to clean drinking water.  When I met my husband Chid Liberty, it was a natural transition for us to create the clothing line, Liberty and Justice.  It’s the story of two amazing African cultures.  Chid is from Liberia, and co-founded Africa’s first Fair Trade Certified apparel factory to provide economic opportunities for displaced women.”

My suite at The Gale South Beach had a wraparound patio with daybed and lounge area.

It was then back over to my hotel, The Gale South Beach (1690 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33139) , which is a Hilton property and located diagonally across from the swanky SLS Hotel, which is where the main runway shows were happening.

My room at $320 (R5,904) per night was a King Terrace upgraded to a King Grand Terrace, which was 500 square feet (46.4 square metres) of personal space, soft sheets, and featured a huge outdoor area with a day bed, sofa, chairs, and separate eating deck area.  The hotel was cute and quaint, featuring marble and black and white photos throughout.  It was a great find, as it was centrally located to everything.  Rooms across the street at the SLS, were going for $5,000 (yes, the equivalent of R92,303 a night!)

Next was a quick jog over to the W Hotel, where TARA, Ink was hosting a fabulous Sports Illustrated Swim Oasis.  Guests enjoyed a 50 minute facial with brands including German skincare brand BABOR; selecting the latest Lilly lashes; athleisure wear Mrs. Momma Bear Workwear; and Camp Queen Magenta Vintage,  along with plenty of rosé and other gifts.

Sports Illustrated Swimsuit model Camille Kostek on the red carpet at Miami Swim Week.  Image:  Jen Su / W Hotel )

At the Sports Illustrated swim show, celebrating its 60 year anniversary – designer Melissa Garšva;  stylist and actor Franklin Myrtle; fashion consultant Rafael Yau; stylist Wilfree Vasquez Torres; and swimsuit models such as Katie Austin, Camille Kostek,and Kamie Crawford, were among the beautiful guests in attendance.

On the runway

Until the next adventure!