International fashion experts to speak at CFW Fashion Workshops

Wednesday, 11 March 2015 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

  • Workshops on fashion PR and styling

HSBC Colombo Fashion Week (CFW) hosted at the Hilton Colombo, invites international fashion experts from important markets to speak at CFW Fashion Workshops. The selected speakers will provide Sri Lankan designers with valuable insights and knowledge of the world of fashion. CFW, the backbone of the Sri Lankan fashion industry, focuses on promoting local designers in key international markets and will host two workshops on public relations (PR), brand development and styling in fashion, to guide Sri Lankan designers in building their image and achieve global recognition. This year, CFW ties up with Omen, a reputed PR agency in New York, United States as part of its efforts to promote local designers internationally. CJ Swanton, Founder and Managing Director of Omen, will visit Sri Lanka to conduct a single-day workshop, ‘The ABCs of Fashion’, which will focus on the ins and outs of the fashion PR world and, specifically, the industry in New York. Swanton will also cover a range of topics related to image building in fashion, including; the importance of solid branding and communicating your brand with visual assets as well as the importance of social media and how it is changing the industry. The workshop will also show designers how to properly leverage a Fashion Week show; and will teach them how to build relationships with editors and journalists, whilst understanding the important relationship that exists between PR and sales. Canadian-born Swanton has many years of experience working with leading fashion brands and designers, such as Obakki, Proenza Schouler, Jason Wu, Issac Mizrahi, Betsy Johnson and G-Star to name a few. He served as the Director of PR at Vancouver Fashion Week before moving to New York to work for some of the most respected PR agencies in the city. Swanton founded Omen in 2008 to break away from the clichés of how fashion PR is perceived. Since then, Omen has grown to work with many celebrated fashion brands as well as designers who show at New York Fashion Week. Omen PR takes a holistic approach to developing brand related communications by offering a wide range of PR solutions. Renowned fashion stylist in India, Mohan Neelakantan, will also visit Sri Lanka to conduct a workshop titled ‘Fashion Styling, the Editorial Way’, which will focus on the art of styling for fashion. Neelakantan will inform designers and workshop attendees about the difference between editorial and commercial styling and will provide them with tips on how to achieve the perfect cover shoot/image. Neelakantan has served as Fashion Director of ELLE India and an anchor/fashion stylist for lifestyle channel, NDTV Good Times. ‘The ABCs of Fashion PR’ and ‘Fashion Styling, the Editorial Way’ workshops will take place on 12 and 14 March, respectively, from 11:30 a.m. onwards at the Hilton Colombo. Tickets are available online and can be purchased at and at the gate. CFW is one of three fashion weeks in Asia that has been running for more than 10 years. The HSBC CFW Show will return for its 12th rendition from 8 to 15 March at the Hilton Colombo Poolside, which will be themed as the Fashion Village this year. CFW is strengthened by its likeminded partners – HSBC, Hilton Colombo, Land Rover, Wineworld, Xquisit, Colombo Jewellery Stores, Unilever, TATA Housing, Hameedia, Ramani Fernando Salons, Leo Burnett and Quintessentially Lifestyle– who share CFW’s vision and aspirations, and lend their support towards CFW’s commitment to raise the bar of fashion in Sri Lanka. The workshops are a component of the CFW Fashion Village, which will serve as the dynamic centre of the Spring/Summer 2015 Show and all CFW initiatives. The Main Shows (12 to 14 March) will unveil the latest collections of 20 local and seven international designers, and the ‘BrightSpark’ Show (11 March) will showcase 10 aspiring designers. For the ‘Fashion+Food’ series (8 to 15 March) CFW will partner with six premier restaurants to create limited edition fashion-themed menus, and with four Chefs of the Hilton Colombo to offer an exciting à la carte menu featuring innovative Bento boxes at the Fashion Café. For more information, visit the official CFW website at or follow the latest updates on the official CFW Facebook page at