By Cheranka Mendis
The much anticipated fashion event for the year, HSBC Colombo Fashion Week (HSBC CFW) will start its three day journey today evening at Hilton Colombo.
Everything is ready for an event that has reached the ‘tier two’ in fashion, on par with the famed Barcelona and Madrid Fashion Weeks CFW President Ajai Vir Singh told the Daily FT yesterday. Calling it a ‘fashion project’ for the industry, Singh acknowledged that the CFW has only gotten bigger and better with every passing year.
Initially hosted in 2003 with the hope of creating a sustainable local industry, the event is one of the most sought after fashion shows in South Asia.
“HSBC CFW has only improved with age. Things have gotten bigger and with expectations, the show has grown in numerous ways,” he said. “We are moving full steam ahead with preparations for the Week which is one of the biggest shows we have ever hosted. With God’s grace, I am confident we can pull it off without any major glitches.”
Speaking on the growth of the CFW Singh noted that the likes of Bibi Russell, Rizwan Beyg and Agatha Ruiz de la Prada have come on their own to partake in the event. “This itself is a sign of how well we have placed ourselves in the industry. They have great respect for the Fashion Week and have been continuous supporters.”
This year’s HSBC CFW will feature some new concepts with Sri Lankan born international model Perine Fernando as spokesperson for the event, many hair and makeup related fashion, and fringe shows featuring some of the ‘brightest sparks’ in the industry. The fringe shows, a first for CFW, will feature two designers each from local design schools, Academy of Design (AOD), University of Moratuwa and Lanka Institute of Fashion Technology (LIFT) respectively on the three days at 4p.m. at the hotel lounge. “We are hopeful this will bridge the gap between the design schools and the Fashion Week ramp.”
HSBC CFW will also for the first time, give away a lifetime achievement award during the event, Singh said. A retail network which includes Trunk, Canatalope Boutique, Aakshii, Melache and Cotton Collection is also a first time project for CFW where local designers will be given an opportunity to showcase their collections in the five stores.
“We also have some influential international designers participating for the first time. Italian design Gaetanno Navara, one of the noted designers at last year’s Milan Fashion Week will showcase his collection at CFW with William Green who will showcase the collection he had on ramp at the London Fashion Week.” New local designers, Lilian Pereira, KOCA and Gihan Ediriweera will also showcase their collections on the three day event.
The Pantene Gen-Next Award will be presented to an emerging local designer for the second time this year as well.