1.Tell me a bit about your brand?
CHARINI is a high-end fashion brand retailing edgy and sophisticated fashion with core sustainable values. The brand is renowned for our strong concepts and unique approach, versatile pret-a-porter fashion as well as bespoke clothing.
2.When did you launch your brand?
I launched it in 2009.
3.Was Fashion Designing your first career choice?
No, not really. I was more into Bio Science but was always interested in the creative industry.
4.What has been the highlight of your career so far?
Showcasing at London Fashion Week, under the ethical fashion segment.
5.What has been your favorite collection so far and why?
A collection inspired by the hexapodas. I was studying the intricate patterns and anatomy of endangered insects. The collections were created combining this inspiration with body contours.
6.Name two individuals in Sri Lanka who in your opinion are amongst the Best Dressed?
Ramali Wijewardene and Ramani Fernando.
7.Name one person you would like to dress / style?
8.What's your personal style mantra?
Less is more!
9.One item of clothing you can't live without?
10.What inspires you when you design a new collection?
Inspiration usually comes when least expected; like when I travel. It could be a leaf on the ground, it can literally be anything that catches my attention that has a potential to be an inspiration. I always combine it with form and shape.
11.What's your next collection for Spring / Summer 2021?
Since the whole world has slowed down and has time to re-calibrate and re-invent, CHARINI is also looking back at our roots, and working on a collection loosely titled as ‘re-emerging’. Staying close to our sustainable values, this collection will primarily focus on Sri Lankan craft with a modern twist.
12.A Sri Lankan or International designer you admire?
13.What do you love about being a Fashion Designer?
The fact that I get to create; imagine and create beautiful things and bring my vision to life.
14.What is 'Fashion' to you?
Fashion is a form of art that reflects who you are.
15.How is working in fashion different today than from when you started out?
The fashion industry is something that continuously changes in so many ways. I keep on embracing change because it keeps the brand relevant.
16.What role do you think social media plays in fashion today? Social media is very important in establishing fashion trends or influencing trends. But at the end of the day when it comes to a fashion brand, the hype that’s created online has to go hand-in-hand with the consistency and reliability of the brand.
17.What was your biggest fear when going out and starting your own line?
Didn’t have any fears to be honest.
18. How do you want women to feel when wearing your clothes?
I want them to be comfortable and confident.
19.There’s so much pressure for designers to come out with their greatest collection season after season. What advice would you give to young designers just starting out and hoping to make it in the industry?
You need to be passionate about your career choice to be a designer, and work really hard to survive in the industry. It has to be a part of your everyday life rather than just being your career.
20.Where do you see the brand ten years from now?
As a brand I see CHARINI being one of the leading fashion brands in Sri Lanka with a prominent international presence.
Watch the full interview on ‘The Perfect Finish: The Fashion Edit’ on Daily Mirror Online (Website, Facebook, IGTV and YouTube).