Partnering for progress

Saturday, 2 October 2010 00:08 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

The Sri Lanka Design Festival (SLDF) 2010 is conceptualised by the Academy of Design (AOD), Sri Lanka’s celebrated design campus in close association with industry leaders and the government and will be held in November this year at Mount Lavinia Hotel.

The event is to take place under the theme of Design Difference, encompassing the difference created through creative industries by value addition, poverty relief through employment generation and becoming a major contributor to the national economy. AOD is organising SLDF 2010 in partnership with the Export Development Board.

The concerted effort led by AOD with the support of the EDB, will focus on specialised training by global leaders in the design sphere through workshops, panel discussions and demonstrations for six areas of design in fashion, jewellery, craft, graphic design & advertising, product design and interior design and architecture. SLDF focuses on many aspects such as the local apparel industry through prestigious international events like the Ethical Fashion Symposium, along with the Industry Fashion show featuring swimwear, lingerie, sportswear and casual-wear depicting the creative talent and manufacturing excellence of the local apparel industry. A unique highlight of the festival will be an artisan and craft village, a dynamic fusion of traditional crafts and modern design, open throughout the festival. The Craft Village will feature traditional crafts along with unique designer craft-based products created through collaborations of international design talent and the expertise of local crafts-men. This craft village embodies SLDF’s attempt to revive traditional crafts through contemporary design to create globally competitive products while generating new income methods for Sri Lankan craft communities. SLDF also features a number of graduate fashion shows and exhibitions, creating an international platform for the young, home-grown creative talent.

Held for the second year, SLDF 2010 will play a pivotal role in showcasing Sri Lanka’s design capability while providing much needed business opportunities. Big names in the design and retail circuit will be taking part in SLDF for sourcing, imparting knowledge and promotion. Among them will be Elizabeth Laskar-Founder and Director of Ethical Fashion forum, Orsola De Castro - co-founder and curator of Estethica-the groundbreaking eco zone at London Fashion Week , SLDF brand ambassador-UK’s renowned fashion commentator, writer and critique, Colin McDowell along with world famous retailers like Topshop, Warehouse, Asos and Tesco to name a few.

Linda Speldewinde, Managing Director of AOD and the Founder of SLDF, speaking on the forthcoming festival said “We feel Sri Lanka is ready to make its own unique contribution to the world of fashion and design and we want Sri Lanka Design Festival to facilitate Sri Lanka’s debut to the world of design”. In recently held launches in London, Italy and Paris, Speldewinde re-iterated the SLDF philosophy and vision of focusing on all aspects of design taking Sri Lanka forward as a major hub for creative industries. “Ethical fashion will be promoted, providing opportunities for retailers and design enthusiasts seeking such products” she noted.

“We are keen to promote craft and other related industries to keep abreast of the changing trends in the global market. There is huge demand and hence scope for special products of proven quality which will ensure returns in foreign exchange and are happy to partner and strongly support SLDF” explained Janaka Ratnayake, Chairman and Chief Executive of EDB.

Deshamanya Mahesh Amalean, Chairman of MAS Holdings, main sponsor for SLDF 2010, stated that “we are delighted to support Sri Lanka Design Festival to develop and promote design talent in Sri Lanka a well as the country’s apparel industry. Design is the future of Sri Lankan creative industry and MAS is proud to lend a hand to develop it.”  

Kumar Mirchandani, Chairman - Sri Lanka Apparel Exporters Association and Executive Committee Member - Joint Apparel Association Forum (JAAF), stressed on the function of the Sri Lankan apparel industry’s scope beyond that of being simply a manufacturer. “We are able to offer buyers design too – this has given our industry an edge as we are now able to offer retailers and brands the entire service - from design to delivery. Sri Lanka Apparel supports SLDF 2010 fully, as it focuses on Sri Lanka’s design and product development capability - important elements that will aid the progress of and add value to our fashion manufacturing business.”

Nimal Gunewardena, Chairman and CEO of Bates 141 explained the agency痴 partnership for SLDF痴 communications: 泥esign and Communications have today become the critical drivers of brands and marketing. Design makes people love products. Design is vital in on-line and traditional communications, and communicators today need to graduate from being pure broadcasters and become designers of systems and places which will attract today痴 on-line consumer. This is a philosophy we are driving as an agency, and both these disciplines are close to our heart. This is why Bates 141 wholeheartedly agreed to join hands with the Academy of Design to promote the Sri Lanka Design Festival that will showcase the importance of design across several fields.”

This strategic partnership with AOD, EDB, MAS Holdings and Joint Apparel Association Forum (JAAF) will no doubt mark yet another milestone of the public-private sector partnership in achieving common goals of the country. SLDF 2010 is also backed by British Council, Sri Lankan Airlines, Mount Lavinia Hotel and the Sri Lanka Tourist Board.

SLDF 2010 will take place from 11-17 November 2010 at the Mount Lavinia Hotel, and promises to attract and enlighten visitors through the festival’s engagement with design, creativity and sustainability. The goal of the festival can be aptly summed up by SLDF Brand Ambassador Colin McDowell: “It is not always the big people who move things forward, but it is the courageous. Sri Lanka has the courage to show the world what can be achieved and it is uniquely placed to be a leader.”

More details and Tickets for workshops and seminars will available online through the Sri Lanka Design Festival Website;