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CHADINI FERNANDO

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(1)Tell me a bit about your brand? An eclectic mix of beach vibes, boho style and vintage flair; Sathika is a brand that embraces the term ‘laid back chic’ with clothes that are simple yet soulful, and are malleable with any style. All our collections are one-of-a-kind and exclusive as we only make a maximum of five pieces from each design.

 

(2)When did you launch your brand? November 2019. 

 

(3)Was Fashion Designing your first career choice? No, I dabbled with Cooking and Freelance Writing prior to venturing into Fashion. I have always loved clothes and been interested in Fashion from the time I was young, hence I finally decided to take a leap of faith and start my own clothing brand. 

(4)What has been the highlight of your career so far? I’m relatively new to the industry, and I have a long way to go. However, I think the highlight of my career thus far would have to be the  launch of my first collection and the amazing response I got. It was pretty exciting to have the first series sell out. The launch of our website in 2020 was also another memorable day. 

 

(5)What has been your favorite collection so far and why? I would have to say ‘Series 1.0’  which was my first collection, as it was both nerve-wrecking and exciting at the same time to launch something that was created with love, care and attention to detail. All the designs from the first collection, and the ones to follow are very unique in the sense that only a very few pieces of each design are made and  are named after special people close to my heart. . Therefore it was exciting to launch with a collection that surprised many of my family and friends to have something that was named after them! 

 

(6)Name four individuals in Sri Lanka who in your opinion are amongst the Best Dressed? Sarah Illyas and my sister, Chenuka Fernando.

 

(7)Name one person you would like to style? Zoe Kravitz because she is the epitome of ‘Effortlessly Cool!’ Her entire vibe and aesthetic is much more than just standard celebrity glam. Her style is so versatile, where she can rock baggy pants and a crop top and make it look chic and edgy while looking laid back and chic in a boho silk gown!

 

(8)What's your personal style mantra? Dress for yourself. When I look in the mirror, if I am happy and impressed with what I’m wearing, that’s when I feel good.

 

(9)One item of clothing you can't live without? Black Razor Back Singlets, White Crop T-shirts and Drawstring Pants are three items I can’t live without.

 

(10)What inspires you when you design a new collection? My inspiration comes from almost anything and everything; from a solo walk in the evening, to a random movie, to a book I read or people I  converse with. For example from my most recent collection, the NUSHKA Blazer and Shorts were inspired by a random conversation with a friend about empowered women and power suits. 

 

 

(11)What's your next collection for Spring / Summer 2021? I have been experimenting with a few things and it’s going to be something quite different from the previous collections!  I think I’ll keep it a surprise for now. 

 

(12)An International designer you admire? Jean Paul Gaultier because of his gender bending pieces that are both unconventional and ground breaking! I love how he doesn’t hesitate to shatter gender norms, stereotypes and boundaries between cultures and sexes. 

 

"When I look in the mirror, if I am happy and impressed with what I’m wearing, that’s when I feel good.”

 

(13)What do you love about being a Fashion Designer? It would have to be the sense of happiness and achievement you feel seeing people love and wear something you designed and brought to life. 

 

(14)What is 'Fashion' to you? Fashion has two meanings for me. On one end, it’s a way of expressing myself and wearing something that makes me feel strong and confident. And on the other hand it’s a necessity, as you need clothes to get by in the world, unless it’s a nude beach. 

 

(15)If you could go back and tell yourself one thing before beginning your career what would it be? To roll with the highs and lows, be resilient when facing setbacks and use it as a chance to grow and improve.

 

(16)What was the biggest rookie mistake you made when just starting out? Trying to do everything by myself. I was having a hard time organising and delegating and tried to do everything by myself.  I think it’s important to constantly remind yourself that you’re doing fine  and that it’s okay to ask for help and advice when you need to. 

 

(17)What role do you think social media plays in fashion today? In general, Social Media has had an impact on almost every industry there is, and it has been a game-changer in the fashion industry! In the world of fashion it has helped bring together like-minded people, create fashion icons, improve innovation and diversity. Fashion is no longer a two dimensional industry where brands put out advertisements and consumers flock to buy it. Nowadays, thanks to Social Media consumers don’t only just make purchases, they actually contribute towards the fashion industry! 

 

(18)How do you want women to feel when wearing your clothes? The three C’s come into play here: Confident, Comfortable and Chic!  

 

(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? As cliche as this sounds, it would be to not crumble under pressure and stay true to yourself and your brand. 

 

(20)Where do you see yourself ten years from now? With a few Sathika stores and an internationally successful collection under my belt, living by the beach with my cat, sketching out some new designs, while sipping on some wine. 

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