BEHIND THE SCENES WITH MAAJI

BEING MAAJI

MAKING A RUNWAY SHOW

We’re still not over the excitement of our runway show that went live on July 17th! There was an abundance of color, fun, smiles, and MAAJIC! 

We are immensely thankful to all the people and brands involved – a runway show is more than just models walking. It starts with our team designing the collection and preparing all the logistics to be here at Miami Swim Week, presenting the best upcoming 2023 swimsuits & beachwear!  

We want to share with you all that goes into the making of a runway show!
The process starts early in the year when we conceptualize our Spring Collection, prints, new silhouettes, new styles, and upcoming trends. Our design team does a fantastic job with this step! 

After designing catalogs, having lots of photoshoots and more fun stuff (that we would love to post about in another blog), the Paraiso team contacts us, and we start prepping our runway show!

Our runway expert John Martinez has been producing Maaji’s runway show for 9 years - the walks, the choreography, the castings, and even more than you can imagine. He puts his heart and soul into this show, which is why we’ve been with him since the beginning.

Therefore, we asked John some questions so you could get every little detail from the expert himself!! 

John Martinez

1. How does the prepping start? What is the first thing you do when Maaji calls and says, "It's show time!"

R/ Usually, the first thing I say is, "Yay, we get to do it another year!". As you know, because of the pandemic, we fought very hard to continue. Maaji was one of the few brands that could continue in the show as soon as we were back on the runway. I'm still very excited that we get to do what we love to do.

1. How does the prepping start? What is the first thing you do when Maaji calls and says, "It's show time!"

R/ Usually, the first thing I say is, "Yay, we get to do it another year!". As you know, because of the pandemic, we fought very hard to continue. Maaji was one of the few brands that could continue in the show as soon as we were back on the runway. I'm still very excited that we get to do what we love to do.

2. Between you and us, what is your best-kept runway secret?

R/ Don't let the audience know that you're sweating. At the end of the day, everything that you think that you want to do, they don't know, so if it doesn't go the same way you were thinking about it, they don't know. You always want to surprise them, but they don't know what they missed because only you and the team know how it was supposed to go. That little mystery will always be the best-kept secret! 

2. Between you and us, what is your best-kept runway secret?

R/ Don't let the audience know that you're sweating. At the end of the day, everything that you think that you want to do, they don't know, so if it doesn't go the same way you were thinking about it, they don't know. You always want to surprise them, but they don't know what they missed because only you and the team know how it was supposed to go. That little mystery will always be the best-kept secret! 

3. How do you plan the choreographies and finale?

R/ Every show is different when it comes to choreography, and the first thing that we need to do is adapt to the venue. We have to figure out how long the runway will be, how far to set it, and how long it takes from backstage to the front. It depends if we're going to be in the street, in a tent, at the top of a pool; that is the first thing determining the choreography.
Our last show was one of our shortest runways because it was at the top of the pool. So the choreography had to be one and a half to have enough time for the models to walk, keep the rotation, and the show's energy. So, we were sending one and a half models on the runway, so they crossed each other when the second model was on her way back. When it comes to the finale carrousel, that also depends on the venue and how many models we have on the runway. Last year before the pandemic, When we were at the Miami city center runway, we had the whole avenue. So we could have the acrobats and a really cool group of Maaji party! 

3. How do you plan the choreographies and finale?

R/ Every show is different when it comes to choreography, and the first thing that we need to do is adapt to the venue. We have to figure out how long the runway will be, how far to set it, and how long it takes from backstage to the front. It depends if we're going to be in the street, in a tent, at the top of a pool; that is the first thing determining the choreography.
Our last show was one of our shortest runways because it was at the top of the pool. So the choreography had to be one and a half to have enough time for the models to walk, keep the rotation, and the show's energy. So, we were sending one and a half models on the runway, so they crossed each other when the second model was on her way back. When it comes to the finale carrousel, that also depends on the venue and how many models we have on the runway. Last year before the pandemic, When we were at the Miami city center runway, we had the whole avenue. So we could have the acrobats and a really cool group of Maaji party! 

4. What is your favorite moment of a show?

R/ I would say it always has to be ¾ of the show. You see that it looks so beautiful, even though you've done the fitting. The right girl and guy are wearing the right swimsuit under the right lights; it's a magical moment and one of the things I love the most about what I do. Because we do crate magic, there are those moments when the model is walking at the right pace of the music, and everything feels right! It doesn't happen throughout the show but has these highlights throughout. It becomes WOW!  

4. What is your favorite moment of a show?

R/ I would say it always has to be ¾ of the show. You see that it looks so beautiful, even though you've done the fitting. The right girl and guy are wearing the right swimsuit under the right lights; it's a magical moment and one of the things I love the most about what I do. Because we do crate magic, there are those moments when the model is walking at the right pace of the music, and everything feels right! It doesn't happen throughout the show but has these highlights throughout. It becomes WOW!  

5. John, what is the hardest part of making a runway show come to life?

R/ I would have to say budget. Budget, budget, budget. That is always the reality check we get after talking, seeing, and getting inspired. "How much is that going to cost? (….) ohhhh…. So that is going to be difficult to do". We live in times when the budget is a must. As much as I'm a professional and can always get a deal, budget is the reality check that makes us ground our feet and figure out another way. 

5. John, what is the hardest part of making a runway show come to life?

R/ I would have to say budget. Budget, budget, budget. That is always the reality check we get after talking, seeing, and getting inspired. "How much is that going to cost? (….) ohhhh…. So that is going to be difficult to do". We live in times when the budget is a must. As much as I'm a professional and can always get a deal, budget is the reality check that makes us ground our feet and figure out another way. 

6. Finally, how has working together been for you all these years? For us, it's been MAAJICAL!

R/ I have to say between Maaji, Oscar de la Renta, and Saks 5th Avenue, you guys are the brands that I call family; we have grown together, developed, done magical things, and hope to continue doing more.
It's like family; you look forward to seeing them, work very hard, and sometimes you need a little break to figure things out, but at the end of the day, you always have a good time. For me is Maaji Maajical.
From the very small show we did at the smallest tent, nobody knew about the brand, the models. But with our energy and hand-painted backdrop, we blew the audience away, and everybody kept talking about Maaji. Since that day, it has always been Maajical. I do hope for many years to come, with the team that are my friends and family! 

6. Finally, how has working together been for you all these years? For us, it's been MAAJICAL!

R/ I have to say between Maaji, Oscar de la Renta, and Saks 5th Avenue, you guys are the brands that I call family; we have grown together, developed, done magical things, and hope to continue doing more.
It's like family; you look forward to seeing them, work very hard, and sometimes you need a little break to figure things out, but at the end of the day, you always have a good time. For me is Maaji Maajical.
From the very small show we did at the smallest tent, nobody knew about the brand, the models. But with our energy and hand-painted backdrop, we blew the audience away, and everybody kept talking about Maaji. Since that day, it has always been Maajical. I do hope for many years to come, with the team that are my friends and family! 

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