From left: MAS Holdings Deputy Chairman/JAAF Chairman Sharad Amalean, Ministry of Finance Economic Advisor Deshal Demel, AOD Founder/Managing Director Linda Speldewinde, State Minister of Finance Eran Wickramaratne, Diesel & Motor Engineering PLC Chairman Ranjith Pandithage, German Ambassador to Sri Lanka Jorn Rohde and Hirdaramani Group Director/Future Leaders JAAF Head Aroon Hirdaramani – Pix by Indraratne Balasuriya
By Shannon Jayawardena
Mercedes Benz, a globally-renowned automobile brand, and Diesel and Motor Engineering Company Plc (DIMO), in partnership with the Academy of Design (AOD), will be holding the first-ever international fashion platform in Sri Lanka from 27-30 October.
The event will open up major opportunities for both the fashion and apparel industries through its fashion show, showcasing great creativity and sublime talent.
The Mercedes Benz Fashion Week, celebrating the evolution of the island’s remarkable fashion and apparel industry, will present remarkable insights into the local fashion world as well as providing the next generation with access to new knowledge.
The event aims to highlight Sri Lanka’s massive apparel manufacturing industry and its impressive capabilities as it looks to transform itself into a full-spectrum service destination for fashion.
AOD Founder and Managing Director Linda Speldewinde stated: “We all respect the apparel industry as one of the most powerful export industries in the country and it has been an industry that’s constantly involving and innovating.”
Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Sri Lanka website launch
“This powerful collaboration between AOD and DIMO will take the industry to greater heights on a global platform. The glamorous event will also invite new buyers and marketers from various countries while the conference worded that there will be over 20 international delegates participating at the event,” she added.
Diesel and Motor Engineering Plc Chairman Ranjith Pandithage said Mercedes and DIMO are glad to have partnered AOD to promote young talented designers to show their talent. Mercedes Benz Fashion Week aims to position Sri Lanka’s apparel industry at the forefront of technologically creative and sustainable fashion manufacturing. The main attractions of the event, which are the fashion runways, will be structured around three main categories that make up the local fashion sphere: the new Sri Lankan style which epitomises cultural beauty and uniqueness, the world-class fashion manufacturing and design from the apparel industry and finally the budding fashion talent of the country.
The first day of the fashion week promises to encompass a new Sri Lankan style which will highlight the cutting-edge innovation with low tech traditional craft while the second day will encapsulate an attractive new fashion proposition from the country itself. The final runway of the series will be an energetic insight into the future, providing a platform for all young design graduates who will carry on the creative industry.
State Minister of Finance and Mass Media Eran Wickramaratne, who was also present at the media conference, said: “The apparel industry is a very significant part of the Sri Lankan economy. The industry accounts for more than 40% of the country’s exports and through time has been a very strong contributor to Sri Lanka’s economy.”
The knowledge-sharing sessions at the fashion week include the South Asian Apparel Leadership Forum, which is perhaps the most influential meeting of minds for Sri Lankan fashion, while the new addition – the Female Futures Forum - will explore the topic of maximising the power of the female workforce.
German Ambassador Jorn Rohde said that “the example of learning with AOD in a knowledge based society, that’s the way to do it.”
Meanwhile, MAS Holdings Deputy Chairman Sharad Amalean called the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week “an important event on the calendar of the apparel industry.”