Byline: Kathryn Wexler
MIAMI _ You might not know this, but Miami was ground zero last month for swimsuit designs.
The industry's biggest, most important trade show was in full swing, with vendors of some 2,000 bathing suit lines crammed into the International Merchandise Mart at the Radisson Hotel, hoping to win over buyers from across the United States and beyond.
``This is huge,'' said Chrissy Ucovich of Apparel Ventures, who designed Ralph Lauren's swimsuit line for juniors and flew in from Los Angeles to gauge the reaction. ``Anybody who's anybody comes to this trade show.''
Anybody, that is, but couture designers. You won't find Missoni or La Perla, for instance, renting a booth at the Radisson. Yet most industry players do come, from fledgling designers with bright futures like Red Carter, to well-established companies like Speedo, Ralph Lauren, Anne Klein and Kenneth Cole.
The five-day show, July 17-21, offered buyers a first look at trends for the upcoming year. The show also drew editors from glossy magazines looking for samples for next spring's photo shoots, fabric manufactures trying to drum up business for next year and designers sizing up competition.
Showing swimsuits is …