HSBC Colombo Fashion Week: Impact on Sri Lanka’s fashion design industry and the South Asian fashion platform

Having been involved with the Indian fashion industry before India Fashion Week even started and having seen the growth of the Indian fashion industry and of the contemporaries like Rohit Bal, Tarun Tahiliani, Suneet Verma, Abraham and Thakore to name a few, it has been a 30 year journey working and contributing to different aspects of the fashion industry from revival of Khadi, to textiles to marketing platforms, basically from its nascent stage to its present avatar.


2013-10-02c 1From the outside, it amazes me how much impact Colombo Fashion Week (CFW) has had in transforming Sri Lanka’s fashion industry. To me CFW stands tall in its achievement.


From year 1 it embraced a South Asian platform where designers from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh regularly showed in addition to countries in Europe, US and Asia. In South Asia, having seen all fashion weeks, there is no other fashion week, which is as international as CFW or a ‘truly’ international fashion week.


CFW is a validation of Sri Lankan Fashion Design and its importance in an international scenario.


2013-10-02c 2Last year, before the 10th edition of CFW, Ajai Vir Singh and Dirk Flamer Caldera created the Resort Viewpoint to establish the emergence of Sri Lanka as a key player in South East Asia, making this nation the hub of Design Commerce for the region, not just in manufacture but in design initiatives as well.


The main edition of CFW celebrated the rise of Sri Lankan Fashion, showcasing stalwarts like Darshi Keerthisena, Kanchana, Upeksha and Sonali Fernando on a level platform with international superstars like Bibi Russell, Agatha Ruiz de la Prada, Rohit Bal, Gaetano Navarra and Duyos.

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Colombo Fashion Week enjoys reciprocal agreements with Russia Fashion Week, Miami Fashion Week, Malaysia Fashion Week to name a few to showcase Sri Lankan designers there.


In this offering of Colombo Fashion Week Resort, a serious attempt is being made to promote the younger talent of the island nation primarily to encourage young Sri Lankan designers to think globally and compete for an international market that could result in the catapulting of these talented designers to world fashion markets.


Last year Colombo Fashion Week Resort was launched in Negombo, and this year moves to the historic site of Galle. This is primarily to create the perfect setting for the resort collections and to create a wider scoping where

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all of Sri Lanka participates in this evolution of fashion awareness and contributes to the process of making Sri Lanka a truly great player in the international scenario of fashion.


I am delighted to be presenting the second edition of Colombo Fashion Week Resort 2013 and take this opportunity to congratulate all the participating designers of this unique and beautiful event.


Prasad Bidapa, is a fashion icon in India, with over 30 valuable years of experience covering design, showcasing and consulting fashion. He contributes to national and international media as a fashion expert. Elle also named him the 50 most stylish people and 25 most influential in fashion.