HSBC Colombo Fashion Week(CFW) focuses on creating livelihoods and creating commercial opportunities for Sri Lankan fashion designers. Moving from strength to strength since its inception in 2003, HSBC CFW has built a reputation locally and internationally. CFW 2012 scheduled for 24, 25 and 26 February, is set to take things to a whole new level. CFW will see the integration of a true fashion week with links established with local retailers, international buyers and collaborations with other fashion weeks. Being the only South Asian country that represents many international designers from the region, CFW has also now been positioned and seen as the hub for Spring/summer resort wear.
The key objectives of CFW are to create opportunities for new and established Sri Lankan designers domestically and internationally. This year, CFW has taken steps to enhance these objectives by creating strategic alliances and ventures that would provide a cohesive platform for designers and the fashion industry in Sri Lanka from a holistic perspective.
To begin with, a local retailer programme and expansion of joint initiatives with other international fashion weeks has been enhanced. With regard to the local retailer programme, five local retailers will be carrying the collections of local designers shown at CFW. These five retailers are Trunk, Cantaloupe Boutique, Aakshii, Melache and Cotton Collection. Identifying and linking local retailers and designers, the local retail infrastructure and Sri Lankan fashion platform is positioned to grow via increased commercial activity.
“Sri Lanka has the perfect opportunity to create a strong local fashion retail network, so a renewed focus on that front coupled with a link with regional fashion buyers, will take us closer to our objectives, which we gave ourselves few years ago. Every year CFW gives a robust foundation to Sri Lankan fashion designers and this year will be no different. Expect more.” Says Ajai Vir Singh, President of HSBC CFW
On the international front, CFW already collaborates with Malaysia Fashion Week, Russia Fashion Week and Miami Fashion Week. For 2012, further collaborations are in the pipeline, which will only provide a greater platform for local designers. In the past KT Brown and Buddhi Batiks had the opportunity to be selected for Russia Fashion Week and Miami Fashion Week, providing exceptional exposure with regard to their talent and brand. This year CFW introduced the GEN-NEXT award for one upcoming designer. Dimuthu won that award and was sent to India to participate in high profile shows.
Keeping to the perspective of providing commercial viability internationally, buyers representing multi-brand fashion retailers will be attending CFW 2012. On the media front, Fashion TV, Elle and other international fashion magazines will cover the event. Having international media will provide fantastic exposure not only for local designers but the fashion industry as a whole in Sri Lanka.
"Partnering the event for the fifth consecutive year, HSBC'S Chief Executive Officer for Sri Lanka and Maldives , Nick Nicolaou said " As the title sponsor of the HSBC Colombo Fashion Week, we are happy to be part of a process that has enabled local fashion to evolve into a growing business. The fashion week has effectively contributed towards this and provided the exposure and opportunities for young local designers to subsequently retail their designs successfully. It has also provided young designers a platform to showcase their talent overseas, for example the tie up with international fashion weeks and some of the young designers' participation at these events. We look forward to yet another successful fashion extravaganza that will build excitement amongst our customers by enabling them to participate in a truly international event, and set new standards for the local fashion arena".
Another key area of focus and objective of CFW that has set it apart from other fashion weeks in the region is the fact that Day Two is solely dedicated to Ethical Fashion. With greater environmental concerns and sustainable development concepts being practiced globally, CFW has been somewhat of a first-mover in this arena. Having had this unique platform for a number of years, it has attracted many well established and acclaimed international fashion designers such as Rizwanbeyg from Pakistan, Bibi Russell from Bangladesh and this year we have Colombia's great Pepa Pombo.