After three years of work in progress, the Fashion Design Council of Sri Lanka (FDCSL) was officially launched on 24 March 2015. Prior to the launch of the FDCSL, council members studied the strategies and structures of other fashion councils around the world, in order to formulate an effective model. Over the last ten years, the fashion industry in Sri Lanka has found a direction and a voice and it is evolving and thriving. This new focus has helped local designers to build many fashion labels which have grown in popularity in both Sri Lanka and the international fashion arena.
Fashion design councils are not private companies but associations which have a common goal; to help fashion designers to develop their businesses and labels. The FDCSL will fulfill this purpose by promoting the common interests of Sri Lankan fashion designers and by creating an environment in which the commercial aspects of each designer's business can flourish.
"Four to five years ago, Fouzul Hameed approached me with thoughts of forming a council for all designers. Since then, both of us have worked on developing this council. . We carefully studied other fashion councils before creating a structure for Sri Lanka, which includes the participation of all leading designers." says Ajai V. Singh, Executive Board Member, FDCSL.
The FDCSL is the only association that represents fashion designers and fashion labels with a prospective of a fashion design industry in Sri Lanka. The council will comprise specially selected founding members and a Board of Trustees. An Executive Board of six acclaimed fashion designers and personalities - Yoland Aluwihare, Fouzul Hameed, Darshi Keertisena, Ajai V. Singh, Upeksha Hager and Dirk Flamer-Caldera will oversee the functions of the council. Additionally, three committees have been created to focus on different aspects of the fashion design industry. Membership in the FDCSL will be available under different categories and will be based on a designer’s experience, employment and achievements.
"The FDCSL will be a great platform for all of our local designers. The council includes many experienced designers as its members and, through them, upcoming designers will be guided and taught the art of building their brands and businesses.” says Fouzul Hameed, Executive Board Member, FDCSL. "Through the formation of this council, we hope to get the support of the Government so that we can further develop the fashion design industry in Sri Lanka. Since Sri Lanka is a manufacturing base, it is very easy for designers to manufacture quality labels and establish themselves as leading professionals in fashion design."
Open to designers from all over the country, the council is also open for all fashion designers with a provision for fashion graduates to become registered members. The key objective of FDCSL is to promote Sri Lankan fashion in international markets, whilst working with government bodies to provide Sri Lankan designers with innovative and viable retail opportunities. The FDCSL aims to follow global best practices to ensure that Sri Lankan designers receive mentorship from the council as well as benefits and guidance which will help them to take their businesses forward in the global arena.