WE END OUR TRADE SHOW SERIES WITH A CONVERSATION WITH RAMON CONTRERAS ONE OF THE CO-FOUNDERS OF HAMMOCK, THE ORIGINAL DISRUPTOR OF THE STANDARD TRADE SHOW FORMAT AT MIAMI SWIM WEEK. ORIGINALLY KNOWN AS SALON ALLURE, RAMON AND HIS PARTNER RICK FATZINGER CREATED AN INTIMATE ENVIRONMENT THAT ALLOWS DESIGNERS TO SHOWCASE THEIR COLLECTIONS IN LUXURIOUS HOTEL SUITES. HAMMOCK HAS EXPANDED THEIR PLATFORM IN RECENT YEARS, OFFERING A RANGE OF OPTIONS FROM SUITES TO BALLROOM BOOTHS BUT HAVE KEPT THEIR SHOW VENUE CONSISTENTLY TIED TO A LUXURY HOTEL ENVIRONMENT. WE ASKED RAMON ABOUT TRENDS, AND WHAT TO EXPECT AT NEXT WEEK’S SHOW.
SWC: Swim Week keeps growing every year and this year, another trade show enters the market. Do you feel that the market is growing so that it is strong enough to withstand a 4th trade show in Miami during Swim Week?
RC: We at Hammock believe the market is a growing and robust market and reacts to buyer and designer needs. Another trade show is a great signal that the market and Miami Swim Week is continuing to grow and flourish and that is what excites us!
SWC: Do you feel there are enough brands in the marketplace for this many tradeshows at the same time in the same city?
RC: We have had an incredible response from brands wanting to show at Hammock and so from our perspective, the market is supportive of the growth.
SWC: How does Hammock differentiate itself among the rest?
RC: We really try to create an environment and experience that is thoughtful, curated and extends beyond the surface level to create an experience that feels refreshing and exciting. Our venue at the 1 Hotel is such a great synergy with our brand identity and we have found that buyers, influencers, media and other industry professionals seek out Hammock as a destination for exciting brands in a setting that creates an experience that goes beyond a traditional trade show.
SWC: Why do you think swimwear is so popular?
RC: People are traveling more and focusing on lifestyle and experiences and swim and resortwear fits into that shift in priorities.
SWC: Do you think the market is over saturated?
RC: The market has a lot of competition, but we feel strongly that there is an opportunity for brands and designers with unique and fresh perspectives and that is our focus when curating our designers.
SWC: How many brands are exhibiting with you this year? How many new brands?
RC: Approximately 100 brands, est 45 new brands
SWC: Can you tell me about some of the trends we should expect to see this season?
RC: We are seeing a lot of solids with interesting details and silhouettes that evoke a sense of interest yet calm in their design.
SWC: Which brands are the “ones to watch”? Who are the next superstars of the industry?
SWC: Are you also showing Athleisure? Do you feel that it is as strong this season as it has been in the past?
RC: A limited amount.
SWC: How about Resortwear? Is there a larger assortment of this category in your show? If so – why does it feel like it is becoming a part of the swimwear market?
RC: Resortwear continues to grow for us and it's naturally integrated part of the swim category as you're largely speaking to the same or a very similar customer.
SWC: How important is sustainability / eco-friendliness in this market? How many of your brands are (or what % of your brands) are sustainable.
RC: We definitely think sustainable brands are offering important value added propositions and ensuring that sustainable brands are represented at Hammock is part of our core values.
SWC: What should attendees expect to see at your show this year?
RC: Exciting beautiful new brands, a series of cool events and experiences, and more services to make it easier for buyers to navigate swimweek.