Royal Turf Club President Suranjith Premadasa (centre left) marking the partnership with SLABA President Indradatta Dharmawardene as officials from SLABA, Royal Turf Club,
EDB and other partners of Royal Turf Club SLABA Runway 2016 look on
Pic by Nisal Baduge
By Chandeepa Wettasinghe
The Sri Lanka Apparel Brands’ Association (SLABA), which represents indigenous apparel brands, has tied up with the Royal Turf Club to launch the Royal Turf Club SLABA Runway 2016, which is expected to be a hallmark international event in the coming years.
“This will help launch Sri Lankan brands into the world. We will be going for expansions of the event in Africa and India and we hope to export Sri Lankan apparel to these markets as well,” SLABA Secretary Shakir Hafeez said.
The inaugural event is set to take place on September 21 at Hilton Colombo with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe as the chief guest.
Export Development Board Industrial Products Director Chitranjali Dissanayake said that the government agency is happy to see the partnership.
“We have been working with the SLABA for the past couple of years to see how our brands can break through to the international market,” she said.
Royal Turf Club President Suranjith Premadasa said that the Royal Turf Club, which currently has monthly horse races, will attempt to increase the frequency of races starting from next year, as the races also can serve as a platform for showcasing Sri Lankan fashion to its attendees.
“We feel there is a lot of synergy between our two organisations and what we promote and stand for. The garment industry’s corner stone is fashion and its constantly evolving trends, while whether it be Royal Ascot, the Epsom Derby, the Melbourne Cup or the Dubai Cup, fashion has always been at the forefront,” he added.
Royal Turf Club CEO Wayne Wood said that the club has been trying to bring haute couture back to the racetrack and the partnership with the SLABA will contribute towards that goal. The SLABA has over 60 local brands in its association, including Avirate, Hameedias, Reborn, LiCC Jeans and Emerald.
A selection of the SLABA members will take part in the first Royal Turf Club SLABA Runway 2016.
To promote horse racing, the Royal Turf Club has in recent years invested to restore the Nuwara Eliya Race Course to its peak condition, as well as set standards in equine care.