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SLABA, RTC and EDB stage Royal Turf Club SLABA Runway 2016

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24 September 2016 12:00 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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The Sri Lanka Apparel Brands Association (SLABA) together with the Royal Turf Club (RTC) and Export Development Board (EDB) staged Royal Turf Club SLABA Runway 2016, on September 21 at a glittering event, featuring the cream of Sri Lanka’s apparel brands, which showcased their products at what was the first of an annual ramp extravaganza. Over 180 outfits, showcasing 20 brands, shown to advantage by 24 of Sri Lanka’s leading models, choreographed by Brian Kerkoven, made the inaugural Royal Turf Club SLABA Runway 2016 an unforgettable event, flying high the Sri Lankan flag of fashion.

The SLABA membership, which has over 60 members including Reborn, EKKO, Emerald, Signature, Manzari, Trendy, Rough, Arista, LiCC Jeans, Rainco, JEZZA, Avirate, GFlock, Dmaxx, Aurora, Anationz, Perri Allen, Vantage, Uptown Kandy, Andre and many others, showcased their brands, with title sponsor, the RTC partnering with them in what was acknowledged as ‘a perfect fit’, seeing that horse racing and fashion are synonymous worldwide, while the EDB perceived to the engine of growth, have done more than its fair share to promote Sri Lanka’s apparel brands. The apparel industry,

the Joint Apparel Association Forum (JAAF), government and private sector heads, as well as Sri Lanka’s leading fashion and beauty icons, were all present to witness our very own homegrown brands take to the ramp and wow the audience. The SLABA, which represents a multitude of Sri Lankan apparel brands that contribute to the country and economy as a whole, was initially the brainchild of Deshamanya A.Y.S. Today, the retail clothing industry in Sri Lanka is estimated at US $ 2 billion and above, with 50 percent of the market share being contributed by apparels made in Sri Lanka. It is the SLABA’s aim to establish an annual event where both industry and non-industry high-networth individuals could interact, exchange ideas and forge links for the overall betterment of not just the apparel industry but the economy of the country. In his message, SLABA P r e s i d e n t I n d r a d a t t a Dharmawardene said, “Today’s show is the first of an annual ramp extravaganza and we are thankful for the RTC for joining us as the title sponsor. We are also grateful to the EDB, our strategic partner, and the JAAF for backing us up on this journey. As a world-class apparel manufacturing hub, the growth of the local apparel export industry has reaped dividends for the Sri Lankan economy. Some of our members have made strides in international markets bringing in valuable foreign exchange and recognition for local apparel brands, setting standards and establishing manufacturing skills that have undoubtedly benefitted the economy.” Dharmawardene also thanked Ramani Fernando Salons and the Hilton Colombo for coming on board with the SLABA as their hair and makeup partner and partner hotel. The RTC, represented by President Suranjith Premadasa, CEO Wayne Wood, Consultant Cyrus Madan as well as the RTC Committee, affirmed that fashion and horse racing go hand in hand, by coming on board to support Sri Lanka’s apparel brands. Whether it be Royal Ascot, the Melbourne Cup, the Dubai Cup, or up in Nuwara Eliya, fashion is an integral part of horse racing, while it is also a key driver of the Sri Lankan economy. Premadasa said, “The Royal Turf Club, which has embarked on the Herculean task of charting the what promises to be an epic revival of the turf, is pleased to partner with the SLABA in what promises to be the first of many glittering events which will showcase the cream of Sri Lanka’s apparel brands. The SLABA has the fashion and the RTC has the passion’. It’s an alliance that is virtually made for each other and together we look forward to taking both fashion and horse racing in Sri Lanka to their very zenith. The Nuwara Eliya race course has been restored to its former glory due to the untiring efforts of the RTC and being situated at over 6000 feet above sea level, makes it one of the highest race courses in the world. Yes, the sky’s the limit for fashion and the RTC is proud to be a part of it. It’s going to be fashion-driven by horse power.” EDB Chairman Indira Malwatte, who has set in place several initiatives to drive the growth of Sri Lankan apparel brands, said, “Given the importance of creating opportunities for the Sri Lanka apparel brands to elevate themselves in order to cater to the high-end international brand market, the EDB joined hands with the SLABA in organising SLABA Runway 2016 as a Strategic partner. The EDB has been working closely with the apparel industry to promote Sri Lankan brands in international markets and this event is organised with the objective of developing and supporting local brands through innovation, design and branding direction with the focus of making them global brands.”


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