HSBC Colombo Fashion Week (CFW) with its recently concluded resort wear season has set the stage for a new era of fashion in the Asian region. CFW is the very first fashion week in Asia to fully incorporate the resort wear category into its annual fashion calendar as a main season. In its third edition, CFW’s Resort show has become a four-day showcase which includes ‘BrightSparks’ shows that highlight up-and-coming designers and main shows featuring established designers from Sri Lanka, the US, India and Bangladesh. CFW has pioneered the development of the resort category in Asia, and has led the way in making it a fashion market with immense potential.
The designers featured at this year’s show saw a renowned line up of international and local designers including: Bibi Russell, Harare, Abraham and Thakore, KOCA, MAUS, , Ramona, Indie, Catherine Rawson, Deneth, Sonali Dharmawardena, COCO, Conscience for LR, Nelun Harasgama, Fouzul Hameed, U by Upeksha, Yaisisurie for Colombo Jewellery Stores, Charini Suriyage Arugam Bay, Radhika and Spa Ceylon.
Uplifting fashion design talent in Sri Lanka: Dedicated to uplifting Sri Lanka’s fashion design industry, CFW has worked tirelessly to create a platform that grooms, showcases and promotes Sri Lankan designers in both Sri Lanka and across the world. In just a decade, HSBC CFW has placed Sri Lankan fashion on a pedestal and taken the industry to new heights. CFW has also helped train and develop fashion designers by incorporating special workshops into its main programme. These workshops feature prominent speakers who are experts in fashion, textiles and branding, and the specialized knowledge they share helps aspiring students to fulfil their potential. This year, CFW also launched the ‘CFW Fashion Design Fund’, in an effort to develop and support emerging designers with the highest potential. This season saw Peronie Nadine Stefel as the first young designer to be awarded the fund. The CFW management hope to include more designers who could be supported by this fund in seasons to follow.
Making a mark in the region: HSBC CFW’s strong association with the fashion fraternity of South Asia has created an exceptional platform for Sri Lankan designers to showcase their fashion talent. Over the years, CFW has created reciprocal tie-ups with prominent international fashion weeks in order to expose Sri Lankan fashion designers to international design markets and give them the opportunity to network with the best in the region. In CFW, South Asia has found a unique platform that brings together designers for fashion interaction.
Commenting on the achievements of HSBC CFW, Ajai Vir Singh, President, Colombo Fashion Week stated, “Our central premise remains that the Sri Lankan fashion industry needs to make an international impact, and for that we need to identify our strengths and play to that. Resortwear is one such strength as it is a growing category and we are the first fashion week in Asia where we show it as a formal season. This season and its sensibility should come naturally to Sri Lankan designers as it has a huge scope for business. We want to continue building on this and leading it. By god’s grace we will make an international mark with this.”
Using fashion and resort wear to uplift tourism: The HSBC CFW also supports all efforts to position Sri Lanka as a leading tourism destination, by showcasing the very best attractions and locations in the country. The recent Resort edition of CFW took place in the vibrant town of Negombo, which is home to the oldest fishing industry in Sri Lanka and provided a colourful cultural and historical setting for the show. CFW featured the iconic fishing catamarans of Negombo as its main graphic icon. CFW always draws inspiration from the breath-taking locations the show is held at and incorporates these aesthetics into the showcase.Evolving aspects of the show:
This year’s Resort edition of the show also included the ‘Fashion + Food’ series which featured a Michelin star chef and internationally acclaimed Malaysian chef who created a variety of cuisines that were inspired by the designs used in the show. CFW also partnered with restaurants on the Negombo strip to promote the city “.This year’s Resort show uniquely featured new pop-up stores, an initiative supported by TATA housing which promoted fashion retail. Following a competition held for architecture students, two students were selected to create 20 pop-up stores which sold pieces showcased at the event.
The management of CFW is grateful to its likeminded partners who believed in the show’s vision and helped make it a continuous success. Principle partners- HSBC, Colombo Jewellery Stores, Land Rover, Jetwing, Ponds, TATA Housing, Vision Care, Spa Ceylon, Brandix, Wineworld, Hameedia, Hellmann Logistics, Leo Burnett, Cotton Collection, Ramani Fernando Salons, Malkey Rent-A-Car, Fashion TV, Daily Mirror, Sunday Times, Daily FT, Hi!, Lanka Woman and Life-Online.