At Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week SWIM 2014, every seat in the Cabana Grande tent at the Raleigh Hotel was filled as the attendees awaited the much-anticipated reveal of the NAILA 2014 Swim collection. Designer Naila Chbib’s upbringing in the South of France emulated from each piece in the collection. This direct influence was apparent in the styling of the models who were accessorized with bright, bold jewels and fun wedges provided by Makers Shoes. The collection featured an assortment of sophisticated designs for women and trunk options for men.

This was Naila’s third appearance at the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim, and the collection stole the spotlight. An array of tropical shades including tangerine, canary, and Mediterranean blue swept across the runway. The simply sheer fabric of the suits was perfectly contrasted with intricate prints featuring florals and vibrant chevron. In pre-show backstage interview, Chbib walked SJ Chronicle’s Executive Editor Semant Jain through a series of featured color stories including a silver-blue palette, an ethnic print selection, a romantic pastel grouping, as well as a few classic black garments. When asked which one was her favorite, she could not choose. “I think all of them are my babies,” she laughed. “I do not have a favorite.”

The NAILA Swim 2014 Collection introduced a family dynamic not seen elsewhere at Fashion Week Swim. The line presented an option for the mother, father, and son – pieces that Naila suggests are not forgotten on the next family vacation to St. Tropez.

The Women’s collection included intricately cut monokinis, bright and slimming one-piece suits, and hip-hugging basic bikinis. Many of the swimsuits were paired with matching silk kaftan cover-ups, light and transparent shawls, and flowing string-tied pants. Naila described the woman she designs for as, “any type of woman. We go from fashion pieces for a 20-year old to one-pieces for an older woman in her sixties.”

Naila’s Men’s collection catered to “the everyday man,” she explained, “men that go to the beach with their children.” Vivid turquoise and blue hues to reflected the color of the Mediterranean Sea, a fond memory from Naila’s childhood window. The “son” model sported shorts that matched the men’s trunks, actualizing Naila’s vision for a family swim collection.

Chbib told Jain that her inspiration has never changed, “It has always been my customers. I love my customers. I design, above all, for them.” Despite her excitement and pride in her collection, she confessed that she was glad the stress was over, leaving her enough time to breath before we see another exquisite showcasing of talent at next year’s Swim Week on Miami Beach.


interview and photography by SEMANT JAIN, PH.D.
content editor MARISA LYON
fashion writer SHANNON WEPRIN