I’m a believer in not only buying from local businesses, but also from people who are either gay or gay-friendly. We are very lucky to live in a tropical paradise, and equally lucky to have so many options for us to purchase cute swimwear. I talked to eight different stores, three of which have owners that design their own swimwear lines. In this spread, I reveal what I learned about the new summer beach and pool fashions and what styles are your favorites right now.
Spotlight on South Florida Swimwear Retailers
When I talked to Pride Factory, I was told that they are fully stocked year-round with all kinds of swimwear, whether you’re looking for bikinis, midcuts, shorts, and boardshorts. When asked which brands are their top sellers, I was told that options from Andrew Christian, JM, JOR and Punto Blanco are perennial favorites. This year, Pride Factory welcomed designs from 2(x)ist, BWet and Gigo. Closer to June, the shipments from Fit-In1 and Freedom Reigns swimwear will go on sale at Pride Factory.
Location: 850 NE 13th Street, Fort Lauderdale
Telephone: (954) 463-6600
J. Miles Clothing
I mentioned in our summer style trends feature that the nautical look is in, and J. Miles is ready with various nautical-style bathing suits, so you can be ready for a day at the beach and on the boat. They also told me that they are seeing a rise in demand for volleyball shorts, which I’m a fan of because it shows off more thigh! No matter what the cut, neon colors will be on sale across a variety of brand names. The four main brands of swimwear that are being promoted right now are Pistol Pete, Tulio, Sauvage, and Cocksox.
Location: 2300 NE 7th Avenue, Fort Lauderdale
Telephone: (954) 565-8096
At My Tropixxx, the swimwear options that are most popular with customers are the bikinis and also the shorts. A new shipment of shorts has come in for the summertime, in various colors such as orange, blue, lime green, dark green and yellow. A label that is getting a lot of promotion in the store right now is Barcode Berlin; their full line of shorts are on sale right now. Gigo and Greg Holmes are two other designer swimwear labels that are popular in the store in the run-up to summer.
Location: 1514 NE 4th Avenue, Fort Lauderdale
Telephone: (954) 522-5988
One swimwear option that has been a good seller for Creative Male in the past year has been swim shorts. They go a little further down the thigh, similar to gym shorts, meaning that they are versatile enough to go from the beach to other public areas and you don’t have to change. They recommend the shorts from Whittall & Shon that are on sale right now. They also recommend various styles from Andrew Christian, from bikinis to shorts. I was told that neon will be a big seller this summer, so they are well-stocked in various neon colors. Also, since this is the summer of the World Cup, they will be bringing in new bikini shipments that will allow you to show off your national pride.
Location: 222 NE 25th Street, Suite 106, Miami
Telephone: (305) 573-3080
MC Film has been in business for 25 years, and they are celebrating their twenty-five years in business with a special discount on the new swimwear that’s coming in for summer. Be sure to ask which brands are eligible. Bikinis and midcuts from Steel and Frank Dandy are being sold at MC Film for the first time ever. Other brands that have sent their summer shipments include Andrew Christian, Go Softwear, Pistol Pete, BWet, Unico and Aussiebum. New beach attire is arriving weekly; visit their store today to see what all they have to offer.
Location: 1901 N 15th Street, Tampa
Telephone: (813) 247-6233
Spotlight on South Florida Designer Boutiques
This summer will be the first summer Florida beaches will be graced with Rufskin’s new swimwear line, called “Kaleidoscope.” It was so named because the different pieces are a hodgepodge of different colors, shapes and styles. I was told that anyone can find something they’re comfortable with in the Kaleidoscope collection. In-depth, the collection includes bikinis, briefs, Brazilian-style midcuts and also shorts. If you want to show more, they even have a bikini/jock combo option. The collection also includes options in solid colors, prints and even florals.
Location: 815 Washington Street, Miami Beach (and other locations nationwide)
Telephone: (305) 695-4100
Studio W Swimwear
Their spring and summer collection consists of three cuts: the brief bikini, the sporty trunk and the basic trunk. Like other retailers I talked to, I was told that eye-popping color is the trend in swimwear this season, and they have these options in abundance: neon yellow, neon green, aqua, white, bright red and bright orange. The brief bikini cut is their best seller, and the basic trunk has a lot of fans as well. Many people are leaving board shorts behind and those people have bought the basic trunk at Studio W, feeling that it’s a comfortable step up.
Locations: 1200 Ocean Drive, Suite 102-103, Miami Beach; 219 7th Street, Miami Beach
Telephone: (305) 532-1402
T Fabiano Beachwear Brasil
Fabiano loves to use white in all of his designs, either as a solid or as an accent, and this summer’s line was no different. Two options that are sure to be popular this summer are the plain white and the floral with a white backdrop. For people who are looking for a more sporty look, there are the designs with the stripes down the sides. Fabiano is bringing back options in blue and yellow this year, something that isn’t always available in his summer collections, so if you like what you see, you should buy it now. The best sellers in the store are the Brazilian cuts, which fit lower on the waist but is wider on the sides, making it a favorite for people who feel more conservative with regard to showing skin.
Location: 1688 Meridian Avenue, Suite 507B, Miami Beach
Telephone: (305) 898-3400
Support your gay-owned Florida beachwear boutiques and stores! Make a trip to one today and purchase your new bathing suit!