Talk about the ideal kick-off to summer and Miami Swim Week: Stitch Lab is coming to LEVEL THREE at Aventura Mall the weekend of July 8-10, bringing together a unique and talented group of Latin American designers to showcase their handmade pieces and celebrate some of the rich cultures that make up South Florida.
We spoke with Stitch Lab founder Karina Rosendo to learn a bit more about Stitch Lab, what inspired her to create it, her passion for spotlighting Latin American (LATAM) artisans and designers, and which swimwear brands and trends visitors can expect to see at this year’s event:
Tell us a little about yourself. What inspired you to create Stitch Lab?
I am a Venezuelan-born immigrant that arrived in this country about 23 years ago. I graduated from the University of Miami in broadcast journalism and have a master’s degree in creative documentaries. After two decades in South Florida, you can say I am a true Miami girl: I love everything about it. Miami is powered by an incredibly diverse community, thriving industries, global connectivity, and an entrepreneurial spirit that sets it apart. In the last few years, there has been a vibrant transformation in the city, turning Miami into a world-class business hub where innovation, opportunity, and quality of life converge.
Thanks to my career as a TV producer, I had the opportunity to travel to many places in Latin America, meet new designers and discover many local brands throughout the region. I have always loved fashion and been fascinated by artisanal handmade work.
I created Stitch Lab to share the beauty of these unique Latin American designs with the world. What better place to do it than Miami?
We started in 2018, with one small event featuring 20 brands. From there, it has been an incredible ride! We became the pioneers of Latin American fashion pop-ups in the city: we were the first to support an extensive roster of Latin American talent by creating a platform where they could showcase their collections though creative consumer experiences designed to attract a refined audience seeking to engage in meaningful transactions that create a social impact. To date, we can proudly say we’ve propelled at least 150 Latin American brands in the U.S. by giving them exposure in the market and connecting them with an international network of B2B and B2C buyers, as well as media.
How did you go about launching Stitch Lab? What was that process like?
Creating Stitch Lab has been one of the hardest, most rewarding experiences of my life, because our platform is not just about fashion. We thrive in working with brands that have a social, environmental, and sustainable purpose. We always look to endorse Latin designers who produce ethical fashion and preserve their native artisanal legacy.
To be involved in a movement where we get to help Latina-owned businesses grow – and change the lives of so many artisans by keeping their ancestral techniques alive – is an inspiring cause.
What can guests expect to see and experience all weekend?
We are continuing the celebration of our fifth anniversary with a very special summer edition: Stitch Lab Cruise, our upcoming pop-up that will take place the weekend of July 8-10 at Aventura Mall inside LEVEL THREE. The space will feature the designs of over 30 Latin American brands across multiple categories, focusing on resort and swimwear, womenswear, footwear, accessories, home decor and children’s apparel. As always, all brands will be exclusively available that weekend only, and Miami shoppers will have the opportunity to meet and get styled by the designers personally, while they sip a glass of rosé courtesy of Maison Marcel and enjoy yummy treats from Angie’s Epicurean and Ladurée.
This summer pop-up is a significant milestone for us as Stitch Lab is continuing to lead the LATAM fashion narrative as the premium pop-up and online marketplace for emerging talent in the region. We couldn’t be happier for the amazing partnerships we have created this year and opportunity to bring our selection of brands to LEVEL THREE at Aventura Mall, one of the leading and most prestigious malls in the U.S.
You love working and partnering with independent Latin American brands. What is your favorite thing about them? What makes them stand out among the rest of the swimwear brands out there?
I love the uniqueness of these brands, their creativity, and their social commitment. Not only do they create beautiful, timeless pieces but they are always looking for ways to innovate and incorporate sustainable practices in their production process, which makes them even more relevant in the fashion world.
Give us a few of your favorite swimwear trends this summer? Which pieces are your favorite right now?
I love that the swimwear game is not about trends anymore, but about what makes you feel comfortable and beautiful. There are so many styles available out there: you just have to pick the one that better suits your needs! We have everything from the itty-bitty bikinis to more elaborate one-pieces, ultra-flattering high waisted two pieces, and minimal coverage bottoms for sunbathing. This year, we are thrilled to see the return of established brands like Bahia Maria and Smeralda Swimwear and are also proud to be launching small, sustainable and independent brands like Mayorga, Applod and Fenáreta from Colombia, Oursin From Haiti, and Sula From Ecuador.
We are also very excited to collaborate with LATAM celebrities and influencers-turned-fashion entrepreneurs to unveil their newest collections at our pop-up, like Argentinian actress Stefani ‘Stefi’ Roitman’s swimwear line, My Happy, and Colombian influencer and model Jenny Lopez’s exclusive line with the eco-conscious brand Ancora Swimwear.
Stitch Lab is coming to Aventura Mall July 8-10. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit StitchLabMiami.com.