Lights, camera, action! The glamour, the beauty, the celebrities, the breathtaking fashion shows over the sultry decorated pools at Miami Swim Week is once again, about to take over the city. Soon, the “city where the heat is on” will transform into a swim, resort, and beachwear EpiCenter; an industry family reunion, like NYFW but hotter; literally, figuratively, and physically.

For more than 10 years, Miami Swim Week has hosted the hottest swimwear shows and trade shows and there’s no stopping. This year, Swim Week will be July 14 – 21 taking over Ocean Avenue, Collins Avenue, and Washington Avenue. One of those shows is The Wonder Woman Initiative; hosted by Brazilian actress, model & philanthropist, Karmel Bortoleti, this intimate event that focuses on highlighting the woman behind the brand and honoring women in our communities making a difference.

The Wonder Woman Initiative is the brainchild of Nigerian born, model & fashion, Wellness & Social Entrepreneur, Tayo Ishola. Founded in 2018, the Wonder Woman Initiative is a series of ongoing projects and live events curated to uplift women within communities. The initiative spotlights female survivors, women in business breaking new grounds, and women who are less privileged and need help becoming self-sufficient providers for themselves and their families.

Honorees include SI Swimsuit Finalist and brain tumor survivor, Victoria Vesce, Author & Entrepreneur, Gloria Ward, iHeart Radio Host, ReneeStichiz” Casseus, and Entrepreneur in the digital world, Jennifer Soberal. In between the swimwear segments, these incredible women will share their story reminding us that we’re not alone in our challenges and that with perseverance and a little bit of faith, we’re capable of anything.

I had the beautiful opportunity to interview Ms. Ishola to learn more about this powerful mission to inspire women from all walks of life.

Q: How did the Wonder Woman Initiative come about?

Understanding the need for ongoing conversation that champions women’s causes, the Wonder Woman Initiative was birthed. Having witnessed a lot of women within my community thrive beyond their challenges, I thought it was important to create a structure that can allow them to be sources of inspiration to others who may be struggling on their journey’s.

Q: What makes this production different from others at Swim Week?

At the heart of this production is the pulsating dream to amplify female voices. For many years, women from various backgrounds have been marginalized, and although the world is shifting to a place of inclusivity, the damages done have created real problems and trauma that women have to deal with and process internally. Understanding what this looks like, even on a personal level, I see a need for our voices to be heard, a need for honest conversation that can reshape the narrative and help us heal collectively. I believe fashion events pull communities together, and it is quite the meeting place for important conversations to be had within a positive scope.

This production allows our voices to be heard through creative expression, and through the audio-visual representation of our individual and collective stories. Anyone that attends our production really is set up for an encounter with the glory-version of themselves, through the lenses of the women they experience and through the re-igniting of their own individual passions and hopes.

Q: How are honoree’s nominated/selected?

Honorees are nominated by selection based on witnessed impact, word of mouth, and also through

Is the Wonder Woman Initiative only held at Swim Week or are there other dates and locations?

We hold events outside of Swim Week, we’ve hosted a New York Fashion Week show, we also an Art Basel Miami show.

Q: What is the long term goal of the Initiative?

The long-term goal is to continue creating events that promote positive transformation in society, transform the meanings we attach to our experiences, and to provide resources to elevate underprivileged women and girls. We believe that transformation begins with the mind, and the goal is to create and maintain strategic partnerships across the world to bring mental transformation to many. Long term, we envision a leadership institute being a major part of our efforts and work.

This year’s showcasing designers & brands include; I Am Eido by Tayo Ishola, Xocal Biquini by GinaMarie Xocal, Culture Trees by Judith Gaffney, VIP Queen Collection by Jennifer Nicole Lee, Allure Novembreby Maranatha Novembre, and Dieo Collection by Jnaba Diallo.

If you’re going to be in SoBe during Swim Week, this is one event that you’ll want to attend and be you did.